The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquity (Is. 53:11).⧾
The reading of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John on Good Friday is a climax of the liturgy of Lent. For all of us who believe in Christ as Son of God and Our Saviour, wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities it is a draining experience to listen attentively and with devotion to so brutal an ending of our Lord’s earthly life. ‘It is finished’ (Jn. 19:30). These words bring to an end the mission that was His from the very foundation of the world. At the Last Supper, in what is known as the farewell discourse, Our Lord said to His disciples: ‘the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father and have come into the world’ (Jn. 16:27). Devoutly recalling His Sacred Passion, we acknowledge that Our Lord is the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him (Heb. 5:9). We obey, that is, we listen to His every word and utterance so that we might enter more fully into this mystery in which is revealed the truth about God and man; of human nature wounded by sin, yet redeemed and healed by the Son of God.
The passion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience (St. Augustine). Everything that we need to know for life is revealed to us through the Passion of Our Lord. For this reason, the Church’s preaching has always been the Word of the Cross; and in every age this Word is met either with rejection, indifference or faith. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). In the Son of God whipped to blood, crowned with thorns, mocked, spat upon, ridiculed, nailed and pierced; in this consummate ugliness, this unspeakable outrage we behold a picture of divine beauty and glory; the power of God. Yes, in His Passion and on the Cross he had no form or majesty that we should look at him; nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from who men hide their faces he was despised (Is. 53:2-3) He is however the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature (Heb. 1:3). For, although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:8-9).