Weekly Lectionary Reading

Tuesday Of Holy Week
March 30, 2010

Isaiah 49:1-7 * Psalm 71:1-14 * 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 * John 12:20-36

1 Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
from within the womb he called me by name.
2 He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.

3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
and you will bring me glory.”

4 I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
I will trust God for my reward.”

5 And now the Lord speaks—
the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant,
who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me,
and my God has given me strength.
6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

7 The Lord, the Redeemer
and Holy One of Israel,
says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations,
to the one who is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will stand at attention when you pass by.
Princes will also bow low
because of the Lord, the faithful one,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

We continue our journey to the cross this week.  A friend of mine wrote that he feels like he is at the base of Mt. Everest climbing to the top this week.  Can you imagine what it felt like for Jesus?  Jesus was fully God and fully man.  The writer of Hebrews tells us that he experienced every human emotion just like us.  In fact, Jesus serves as our great high priest.  Jesus was lifted up high on a cross, so that all the world could see — Jesus was a light to the nations — Jesus calls us to be light to the nations — so that people everywhere will be saved.  From what I understand, the cross is probably the most torturous death devised by man.  You didn’t die from bleeding, you died a long, slow death from suffocation.  It was a humiliating, public experience.  Yet, the place where Jesus died was wonderful.  The hymnwriter Isaac Watts put those thoughts into words in his hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”  What was so wonderful about the cross?  It showed God’s amazing love for us.  We were unworthy — God in his grace and mercy made real life available to us through the cross.  Listen to these words, “”Were the whole realm of nature mine, that would be a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”  Think about the great love that Jesus had for his creation (humankind) that he would be willing to give up his life to save us.  There is no way that we could ever repay the price.  Jesus asks us to willingly give up our lives to serve Him and his Kingdom.  When we think of His sacrifice, how could we not?

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