Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. – Isaiah 53:4-6
In utter pain and rejection Jesus gave the ultimate gift today to all humanity. He showed us what love really is and how deep it can go – to be rejected, mocked, denied, scourged, falsely accused, weighted by a cross, then nailed and hung high to die before those would continue to mock Him.
Through all that He endured, He bore our sins upon Himself; and with perfect steadfastness, He poured out love and mercy to all. His perfect obedience took the place of the punishment due to our sins. He sheltered us from the just loss of Heaven that our sins incurred. Jesus restored our union with God and made reparation for our sins. We cannot achieve salvation apart from His ultimate sacrifice and our cooperation with His graces. We are in a continual state of being saved as we repeatedly turn away from God with our sinful tendencies.
His love did not stop at the Cross but led to His glorious Resurrection. Jesus conquered death and beckons us to follow in His steps of trusting obedience, meaningful sacrifice, authentic love, and faithful commitment. Jesus shows us the way to holiness and pours out His graces upon us. We must look to Jesus and daily pray that wecan follow the conditions of discipleship that Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). He will lead us to Heaven for He longs for us to be forever held in loving embrace. We must look to the Cross of Jesus as our sign of life, love and salvation. Let us pause today and reflect on Jesus’ love and ultimate sacrifice.
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
What can we offer back to Jesus for this ultimate sacrifice?
How can we make today’s recalling of Jesus’s Passion and Death change who we are and what matters most to us?
What will we do to share this Good News with the world so hurting and so disconnected from God?
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer)
Photo Carl Bloch, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Author: Laura Stephens