by Gary Bergel
HOLY WEEK – From its own posture of “Hosanna,” creation responded to Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Flowers sang their multi-hued praises. Palm fronds and willow branches “clapped their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12) Jesus declared that if the disciples and masses had been silent, then the rocks would have cried out. All of creation waits for its release from corruption and death too. It groans and “stands on tiptoe,” as J. B. Phillips phrased it in his translation of Romans 8:22.
“He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'” Luke 19:40 ESV
Holy Week should prompt similar inner dynamics in us: a deep yearning for greater freedom in every area of our lives; to live free from even the “power of cancelled sin,” as Charles Wesley put it. A heightened desire, a “standing on tiptoe” to live a crucified life in Christ, to willingly embrace our own crosses—where the will of God crosses our own carnal demands and desires—to know more of Christ’s death and resurrection working in us!
“By the punishments, by the whippings, by the bleeding wounds, by the piercings, by the crushing, we are healed!” (Isaiah 53:4-6) This is a week to reflect upon the Passion of our Savior – to try to grasp the suffering and full price that Christ paid for the rebellion, transgression and iniquity of the human race – the price he paid in full for our sin.
“See, my servant…. his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him.” Isaiah 52:13-15
Isaiah 53, the prophetic chapter pointing to Messiah as “Suffering Servant” rather than “King,” is still not commonly read in Jewish synagogues.
Prayerfully read, reflect and meditate upon the whole of ISAIAH, Chapter 53.