March 31, 2021
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

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The 1st Four Days of Holy Week - 14 min. - Text Transcript

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

At Easter we glory in the divinity of Jesus when he shows us in his resurrection that he is truly God, but here in Holy Week we recognize that he is also truly human. It’s easy to focus on Jesus as God in the Easter season, but leading up to that, it’s important to remember that Jesus was also human. When he is betrayed by his friend he is hurt. He is betrayed by someone he loved, someone he broke bread with, someone he should have been able to trust, someone he thought loved him.

Jesus and his friends are all sharing a meal together: they are in an intimate setting. Betrayal indicates that trust has been broken. There has to be love and trust for there to be betrayal. A stranger can’t betray you. A stranger can harm you, but unless you have trusted someone, there’s not a sense of betrayal at the harm.

The suffering servant in Isaiah talks about his distress in his situation. He has the words of God to share with others, but he is attacked physically and verbally and emotionally. He suffers for the good of others, but it’s not easy. He is abused, but he knows what he is doing is important and necessary. Our lives as Christians can be a little like that. It seems like we do not get the rewards for doing the right thing but are instead punished for our faith and faithfulness. And with our human bodies and emotions we feel pain and frustration and sorrow. But we know that Jesus also has human emotions and also had a human body. He felt sorrow when he was betrayed. He felt physical pain when he was crucified. He understands our sorrow and frustration because he also felt that.

Being human can be painful.  But Jesus understands our pain because he has experienced it too, because he was human too. Even though he was God, he still understood human suffering because he experienced it. And we understand how sad he was when his friends betrayed and abandoned him, and how he suffered because we share in the human experience.

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