Today's Scripture Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Key verse for today: Isaiah 50:6a, "I didn't hide my face from insults and spitting."
This is the third passage of the Suffering Servant theme contained in what scholars refer to as Second Isaiah. As Christians re-read these suffering servant passages, we often do so through the lens of the cross. They make sense in light of the passion of Jesus.
They also seem to give us insight into the very real suffering that Jesus went through on the cross. One of the first heresies was docetism which claimed that Jesus only seemed to suffer on the cross. They believed that he was spirit and didn't actually suffer.
Both the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed declare that Jesus suffered. They refute docetic ideas and take seriously his suffering.
The notion that not hiding from insults or spitting would portray weakness is false. Isaiah's suffering servant (and later Jesus) portray strength through nonviolent resistance. This nonviolent resistance was adopted in the 20th century by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King talks about love and nonviolent resistance here:
As we move into Holy Week, we must see the strength that was portrayed by Jesus Christ.
How does his suffering help us to endure our own?
Breath Prayer: Blessed Jesus, give me strength.