Today’s readings can be found online at these links: Isaiah 19:11-25 and 2 Corinthians 1:8-14.

2 Corinthians 1:10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

Maundy Thursday is one of the most solemn days on the Christian calendar. I get deeply immersed in the gravity of this day, as well as the painfulness of Good Friday. Both days weigh heavy upon my soul and a spiritual gloom almost overwhelms me. Christ’s betrayal emotionally distresses me; Christ’s crucifixion spiritually depresses me.

I understand that Easter Sunday is just around the corner and that I will be cheerfully celebrating three days from now. However, today deeply affects my soul because I recognize myself in the villains of the story, and my despicable part in Christ’s downfall.

I think most Christians understand these feelings. We serve Christ each day of the year in our congregations and communities. We share our faith by helping others in times of need and showing love in times of distress. We want other people to experience and embrace the joy of Jesus Christ, which we honestly believe will help them immensely in their daily lives.

And then we encounter Christ, betrayed and abandoned, arrested and beaten, humiliated and executed. The joy disappears and His love is diminished; inhumanity is unleashed and injustice is unfettered. Instead of the Lord of our lives, we read about the suffering servant; instead of the Holy Son of God majestically enthroned in Heaven, we see the horribly battered human being gruesomely pinned to a man-made Cross.

Jesus went through all of this for us, which is why Paul’s words have a poignancy and relevancy on this day: He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive us. Amen.

Pastor John Stuart
Erin Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Unified in Christ, we actively seek to create harmony in a diverse community through compassion, mutual respect, and love.

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