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Friday, April 6, 2012

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Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
John 18:1—19:42

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"Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered." —Hebrews 5:8

Jesus' suffering and death were so all-encompassing that they can be described in almost opposite ways. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus' death would be in the spirit of submission and silence: "Though He was harshly treated, He submitted and opened not His mouth" (Is 53:7). John described Jesus at the time of His death not only as a Lamb but a Ram, before Whom a Roman cohort and the police force retreated and fell to the ground (Jn 18:6). He boldly challenged Peter, the high priest, a guard who hit Him, and Pontius Pilate (Jn 18:11, 20, 23; 19:11).

Jesus was both Suffering Servant and non-violent Commander-in-Chief (Rv 19:11-16). Jesus was Lamb or Ram not to protect Himself against further suffering. Rather, Jesus' meekness and militancy increased His suffering. For example, if He had talked more to Pilate instead of remaining silent, He may have been freed. When Jesus did talk to Pilate, He was so bold as to scare Pilate from further conversation. Jesus was meek with Judas, although He knew His betrayer (Jn 6:71). Yet He was militant with the high priest. All of this maximized Jesus' suffering.

Jesus' behavior is unexplainable except for His overwhelmingly passionate love for us.

Prayer:  Jesus, like almost everyone else, I have lived to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. I repent and decide to live for love of You.

Promise:  "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need." —Heb 4:16

Praise:  (none)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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