PalmC22. Isaiah 50:4-7. God gave Isaiah the capacity to speak God’s message to God’s People. However, the people abused him badly, spitting on him, beating him, plucking his beard. Yet Isaiah kept on preaching what God wanted him to say, never stopping, setting his “face like flint.”
Luke 22:14 – 23:56. The scene is of eating and drinking at the table. Jesus continues that he will not eat or drink until the fulfillment of God’s kingdom comes but that one day his Apostles will eat and drink at his table in the kingdom. The Last Supper is the first meal of a supper that is being repeated endlessly. As Jesus commanded us, we eat the bread that is his body and drink the wine that is his blood “in memory of” Jesus that the love by which he gave himself on the cross may be the sustenance that is the life we live in him. Jesus is the life which enables us to “bear much fruit,” love and holiness. (John 15: 5c) Jesus reminds his Apostles that there was a time when their goodness would bring out goodness from others and so others would provide for their physical needs. However, now is a time “for the power of darkness,” when one must take along money, provisions and a means of self-defense. Jesus’ excruciating suffering that he willing undertook to redeem us from our sins shows the spectacular enormity of his love for us that enabled him to give himself up as a redemptive sacrifice. Pilate and Herod and Jewish authorities were blind to the spiritual and could only recognize worldly physical force. The mob that called for the crucifixion of Jesus sought to murder Jesus who only showed love and kindness. Yet they released Barabbas, who was imprisoned for rebellion and murder. It was a show of the strength of his love by which Jesus rendered himself weak in the hands of the forces of darkness. He showed he was powerfully in charge when he lovingly sent the good Thief off to paradise. Evil was allowed to have its day but not eternity.
Philippians 2:6-11. John 1:14a says “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” God became flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit in Mary. God became one of us by the cooperation of Mary, who was God’s creation or creature, one of us. God allowed himself to become human, without relinquishing his divinity, so that he could become an excruciatingly bloody sacrifice in order to redeem us from our sins. It was out of the strength of his love for us that Jesus chose to submit himself to the brutality of the evil forces that confronted him. That humility was out of love for us, so almighty was his love for us. Jesus’ divinity did not shield him from the horror he was to suffer but delivered him in obedience to it. “Because of this, God greatly exalted him” so that “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” We are loved more than we can possibly fathom.