Yesterday was Palm Sunday, which marked the start of Holy Week. As I read Isaiah 53, I was struck by the words used to describe the conditions of our Lord’s treatment during the last week of His (pre-Resurrection) life:
“Holy week” it may be, but it is unholiness—mine—that led to these words being spoken about my Savior.
Each spring we remember how Jesus was crushed and brutalized, tortured and killed, in order to receive the punishment for our sin, so that we could live! It’s a challenging story to explore, because we can’t escape our culpability in the suffering and death of our Lord. But it’s also the most life-giving story that could have ever been told, because it offers hope and redemption where none should have been available!
Jesus gave His all.
Jesus gave His all when nothing in His appearance attracted men to Him.
Jesus gave His all when He was despised and rejected by men.
Jesus gave His all even though He was filled with sorrow and suffering.
Jesus gave His all even though we did not esteem Him.
Jesus gave His all when taking up all of our infirmities and sorrows.
Jesus gave His all when being pierced for our transgressions
Jesus gave His all when being crushed for our iniquities.
Jesus gave His all when being cut off from the land of the living.
Jesus gave His all even when His own Father willed to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.
Jesus gave His all in order to bring forgiveness and life to each of us!
Jesus gave His all to redeem us all.
All of my trials, despair, discouragement, and rejection pale in comparison to what He did for me! We can know the power of His resurrection—power that eliminates despair—because His sufferings and death were not the end of things. He came back to life! It is time to live in the victory and joy that the resurrection brings! To live like Jesus is alive, caring for us, present in our struggles, and interceding before our Heavenly Father!
My dear friend and mentor, Dr. Victor Matthews, wrote a prayer that always helps me to reorient my mind and heart on the Resurrection power available to me through Jesus. May it do the same for you as we, His Church, look forward to the glorious Sonrise of Resurrection Sunday!
Dear Heavenly Father,
I appeal to you for help. Please show me whatever sin I have committed so I may repent. I ask you to forgive me for my pride, my neglect of you, and my disobedience to your word. Please rescue me.
I confess before you that I have believed a lot of lies, and practiced them—particularly lies about you and about myself. Help me to confess and reject them.
In your name, Lord Jesus, I take back from Satan all the ground I have given to him in believing these lies and putting them into practice. I choose to reject Satan and all of the kingdom of darkness from my life.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I take charge of what is happening in my mind, emotions, and body.
Whatever is of you, Heavenly Father, in what is happening within me, then I accept it, thank you for it, and depend on you for wisdom, guidance, and healing.
Whatever is not of you, Heavenly Father, in what is happening within me, whatever there is of error I have accepted, or the work of the enemy, then I reject it in Your name, and I bring the power of Your blood, Lord Jesus, against it, and against the source of it, and I command it must leave me now. I refuse to submit to it.