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Jesus in solidarity with human suffering

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Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 18, 2018

John 19:1-16a

What a scene!  You’ve just viewed a lead-up to of one of the most traumatic events in the Bible. It is one of the most significant stories of hope for us as Christ-followers. It is part of what gives our faith substance. The core of what we believe in depends on these events.

The video depiction is from our scriptures for today, John 19:1-16, including a little bit from chapter 18 that we read from last week. There Barabbas was being set free and now Jesus is being sent back and forth between Pilate and the Jewish leaders. He is mocked and pushed around, despised while being totally innocent. It all takes place the morning of the day that Jesus was crucified.

Jesus is first flogged, then given a thorny crown, and dressed in a purple robe, struck in the face….even after Pilate has found no case against Him.

This begs the question: How much did Jesus walk in the shoes of those that are trod upon or treated badly in society?

Jesus was the Word that became flesh and who dwelled among us in the neighbourhood, caring for and loving us in our human condition. He became as mocked, ridiculed and offended as those most persecuted and trodden upon here on earth.

Something profound happens when Jesus is treated so badly. To the soldiers it looks like Jesus is demonstrating a lack of power and authority. In fact, He appears to be the exact opposite of Pilate’s dominating and oppressive tactics. In John’s gospel it becomes clear that Jesus does not express authority. Rather Jesus’ reign is based on the fact that He is willing to join in and share the pain of his people. Jesus came into the miserable circumstances on earth, to be “God with us” in whatever we go through. Jesus demonstrates that He is in solidarity with human suffering.

How can we too, as God’s people be in solidarity with human suffering?

1: In our Dayspring Weekly News today you can read about Pursottam who found relief from his leprosy. Our contributions to Presbyterian World Service and Development have supported and helped Pursottam’s suffering.

2: Another wonderful example is when we stand in solidarity with Amnesty International each year.  We take the time to sign letters that pressure government and other leaders to take action against many human tragedies.

3: Yet another way we can each support human suffering on a smaller scale is by getting involved right here at Dayspring.  You’ve heard today about the work that pastoral care does in our Congregational Life Ministry.  It’s one way to support our own people in their day-to-day challenges.

In the video you viewed today, Jesus goes through unimaginable suffering. And we know the worst is yet to come as we continue with the Easter story.

Jesus truly suffered for us and know that as we have our troubled times we too can count on Him to be with us.  In comparison to what He endured, nothing is too traumatic or horrific for Him to be with us and right by our sides.

 

Copyright 2018 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church

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