To mock your reign, O dearest Lord, they made a crown of thorns . . .
They could not know, as we do now . . .
Your sorrows heal our own.
To Mock Your Reign
The UMC Hymnal, No. 285
Even as a child the story of Holy Week, especially late Thursday night’s trial of Jesus and his crucifixion grabbed my attention because they are all so unfair, so unjust. Any trial that takes place at night, with only a select audience, makes me suspicious; an execution that was purposefully made even more horrific than usual procedures does too.
Injustice bothers me as it does most people. It sometimes frightens me. It always provokes me. And yet it is all around me and sometimes I share in it: that’s part of the discomfort of the current age, to realize that I have profited from being born when, where, and as I was and that sometimes the world has injustices that benefit me and sometimes hurt me. Then there are the injustices that I perpetuate on myself and others at a direct and personal level: thoughts I will not admit; angers that are misdirected; self-serving and self-harming things that do not respect the person God created, even done to myself.
The sin I just described, both the personal transgressions and the corporate troubles we all know, are unjust, to us and to others. To quote the General Confession, “There is no health in us.”
Jesus knew – Jesus experiences – all that injustice in this week. From a mock trial, to beatings, to betrayals and denials, to a cruel and seemingly pointless death, Jesus knows all that injustice.
Jesus died. How unjust.
But God has another word. God has a purpose in Jesus’ death. Jesus’ death puts injustice to death. Jesus death is the sign to us of God’s intention to kill injustice.
Thanks to the One who knew the horror of injustice and now lives.
By his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
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