First Reading: Isaiah 53:4-6
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,
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.
We feel a burden lifted when someone takes upon herself or himself one of our tasks. It can be small when someone offers to pick up an item from the store. We feel a little relieved even if it only means I am not as rushed. Sometimes the burden can be much heavier, such as a sibling offering to have an aging parent to move into his or her house for part of the year from another sibling’s place. It might be a well-off uncle paying down a student loan for his nephew? We feel relieved when someone takes on one of our burdens.
The reading from the prophet Isaiah, when seen through the lens of Good Friday, focuses on the redemptive power of that cross. Jesus accepted the piercing, smites, stripes and chastisement so that our infirmities, offenses, sufferings, and our straying so that our guilt might be expiated and we be healed and made whole. This is not small or trivial. Nothing is outside the scope of the redemptive cross of Jesus.
On this Good Friday, let’s remember that although it is a solemn day we have been redeemed by Jesus on the cross.