Lent Devotional for Holy Week
Honestly, this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever written. Weeks went by where the passage stumped me and just left me breathless. Everything I wrote was merely air in comparison to the terrible weight of the unjust moment. It is such a pain-filled scene to witness that all my words seemed to fall short of the sacred depth. I hope what came to me in the end ministers to you in the same way it did to me.
Scripture: Luke 22:63-71
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
“My own people—my own people!”
“I came to save them; they came to mock me, bruise me, lower me to the dust out of which We made them.”
“Prophesy you fool! Prophesy!”
“Oh, my Father, they know not what they do, nor who I am. Forgive them.”
“Spit on this liar! Blindfold him!”
“Why must I bear this, Abba? Bless them. Bless them, and open their eyes.”
“Open your eyes blind man! Who’s hitting you? Tell us if you know, Oh Most High King of the Jews. Tell us if you know. Call us by name!”
“Merciful Father, forgive Bartimaeus. Forgive Nathaniel. Pass over An—“
“Call us by name!”
“It is written:
‘But now thus says the Lord,
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.”‘”
Lord, you are the Holy One who was struck unjustly a thousand times in thought, word and deed, by those you created. Help us not be numb to your pain. Help us not be distant from it.
May we know the pain of the world’s rejection by our closeness to you. May we know firsthand how the world mocks us as we seek to spread your love. For it’s in the mocking and rejection that we know we are sharing in your suffering.
You say in Your Word to us: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
And also in Your Word: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)
“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (1 John 3:13-14)
Merciful Father, grant that we may love those who hate us and revile us for associating with you. Help us to love them with a quiet love.
Prince of Peace, may we be peaceful followers of you in this hectic and hateful world.
Master Jesus, may we yearn for fresh learning from you, for it’s always available. Make us sensitive to the way you disciple us. Left to our own ways, we ruin things: our selves, our time, our resources, our money, our spouses, our friends, even our enemies. But when we submit to you, Christ, you redeem us from our foolish handling of precious things.
King of kings, take us further into yourself, and let us never be found lingering in the hands of another god.