Monday, April 6, 2009
"Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD."(Psalm 27) This is the last line of the Psalm Response today. It has particular importance for us today as we begin Holy Week for it challenges us to imitate Jesus who in the midst of the sufferings He bore lived in the knowledge of these words. Waiting is not something that any of us enjoy no matter how patient we may or may not be. But we are told twice today to wait for the Lord and to be courageous and stouthearted while doing so. In undergoing His Sorrowful Passion Jesus waited for the Lord, and while He was waiting He underwent the most brutal and vicious suffering. The words of the psalmist rang true, "When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh..."(Ps27) even so Jesus waited upon the Lord. In knowing that Judas would betray Him, Jesus waited. In knowing that His beloved Apostles would abandon Him, Jesus waited. In knowing that Peter would deny Him, Jesus waited. In fear and trembling in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus waited. Captured and abused by His own people, Jesus waited. While liars denounced Him, Jesus waited. Spit upon and slapped by fools and sinners, Jesus waited. Thrown in the dark cistern, alone, Jesus waited. Dragged up the steps of the Praetorium to stand before Pilate, Jesus waited. Keeping silent and not defending Himself, Jesus waited. As every blow from the whip violently tore at His flesh, Jesus waited. As the thorns were buried deeper and deeper into His Head, Jesus waited. As the Romans cracked Him with the reed and mocked Him, Jesus waited. As Pilate condemned Him at His own peoples demand, Jesus waited. As the Cross was placed upon His shoulders, Jesus waited. As He stumbled through the streets, Jesus waited. As He encounters His Sorrowful Mother, Jesus waited. With each step towards Golgotha, Jesus waited. Stripped of His clothes for all to see, Jesus waited. Wickedly stretched out on the cross, He waited. As the nails were touched to His aching flesh, He waited. As each blow of the hammer came down, Jesus waited. As He was lifted up Crucified, Jesus waited. As He Thirst hanging between Heaven and Earth, Jesus waited. As He gave up His Spirit into the hands of His Father, Jesus waited. Laid in the Tomb, Jesus waited, He was courageous throughout His ordeal. He remained stouthearted in waiting for the Lord. On the Third Day His waiting was over, His Father raised Him from the Dead by the Power of the Holy Spirit. His waiting won Him the Victory. He is the Lord, and He is our life's refuge. "The LORD is my life's refuge;of whom should I be afraid?"(Ps27) In our own suffering and in our own struggles we must take refuge in Him, and our hope will be fulfilled, for Jesus Waited for the Lord. Now He is our Victor King, we do not have to be afraid any longer, for He comes to us in Mercy and Love that will endure forever.