Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 45
“A Coronation Ceremony”
As you read today’s Isaiah reading can you see Christ? “Appearance marred beyond semblance” (Is 52:14), “despised and rejected” and “man of sorrows” (Is 53:3), “stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, chastised, oppressed” and “lamb to the slaughter” (Is 53:4-7). Yet isn’t it so marvelous that these words are bookended by God’s grace? “Behold my servant shall be exalted and lifted up” (Is 52:13) and “he shall make many accounted righteous” (Is 53:11)! One of the most interesting aspects about Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion is that we tend to think of it as the humiliation of divine glory. However, there is also another angle to this picture. As we’ve journeyed through John’s Gospel, we would’ve noticed Jesus talking about being lifted up and exalted (e.g.: Jn 3:14, 8:28, 12:32-34, especially last Tuesday’s devo). So when we read today’s John reading, although from an earthly angle we see humiliation, from a heavenly angle, we see glorification! He is crowned, robed, and hailed (Jn 19:1). He declares his kingship and majesty (Jn 19:2-18). After his royal parade to his throne, his cross, he is declared “King of the Jews” (Jn 19:19-22). He is enthroned among his subjects, two sinners on either side (Jn 19:18). And he gives away gifts, even his clothes (Jn 19:23-24). In other words, Jesus is exalted and lifted up (Is 52:13) to reign over our sin, which is why we are accounted righteous (Is 53:11)! Thus, today, when you see Christ, worship him from both an earthly and a heavenly perspective: he suffered for our sins, and yet, he reigns over our sins! That’s why we call today Good Friday!
Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.