He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:28
Here we are having just experienced Palm Sunday, Good Friday and then Easter. From Hosannas in the streets, through the sadness and depression of Good Friday, and then the Hallelujahs of Easter. Now, everything should be happy and wonderful as we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection with flowers, and egg hunts and outdoor worship and music. So, what’s next? Do we just go about our lives in this happy, mountaintop experience mode? Time for our response to what God has done for us – time to follow Jesus’ lead.
Some of the things we might do seem relatively easy – feed the hungry, we can donate food or volunteer at food shelves. Clothe the naked – we can donate clothing. We can help our neighbors and church community, purchase flowers, grow food in our church garden. We can learn about systemic racism and find an action to take. All doable. Then we read these two verses today – In Isaiah, a reference to the suffering servant in one of the servant songs who has born the sins of others, and make intercession for them. That sounds hard; we read it as a reference to the sacrifice of Jesus and salvation through Him. In Luke, we read what Jesus’ tells us to do – Love Our Enemies!
Love the people that hurt us? Bless those that curse us? Pray for them? None of that comes very naturally to us humans. Our response is much more likely to be anger, cursing back, certainly not anything close to love. However, Jesus loves all of us including those nasty people. In response to His intercession for us, in response to this past week’s remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can pray for help in forgiving others. We can actually ask for God’s blessing on them. It is hard to do this, but we have the assurance of God’s help if we just take the time to ask for His help..
Compassionate Christ, help us to forgive those who curse us, and are mean to us, just as you have interceded for and forgiven us. Guide us to bless and love others as you do. In your Holy Name, Amen.