One Minute Reflection – 13 April – Spy Wednesday in Holy Week – Isaias 53:1-12, Luke 22:39-71; 23:1-53
“And he released unto them, him who for murder and sedition had been cast into prison, whom they had desired. But Jesus he delivered up to their will.” – Luke 23:25
REFLECTION – “Jesus made His way of His own free will towards the sufferings Scripture had foretold. He had frequently predicted them to His disciples and had even severely rebuked Peter, who had received their discovery with indignation (Mt 16:23). Finally, He showed how they were the cause of the world’s salvation. This was why, to the men coming to arrest Him, He referred to Himself as: “I am he whom you are seeking” (cf. Jn 18:5.8) … He was struck, covered with spittle, mocked, tortured, scourged and, in the end crucified. He allowed two outlaws, one at His right and one at His left, to share His suffering. Classed alongside murderers and criminal, He took vinegar and gall, fruits of a bitter vine. He was struck in mockery by a reed, pierced by a lance in His side and, in the end, laid in a tomb.
All this He suffered while working out our salvation … By His thorns He brought an end to the punishment laid on Adam, since the latter, having sinned, received this sentence: “Cursed be the ground because of you! Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you” (Gn 3:17-18). With the gall He took to Himself all that is bitter and painful in mortal life and sorrowful to men. With the vinegar He accepted human nature’s decline and bestowed on it, its restoration to a higher state. By the purple he symbolised His royalty; with the reed, He indicated how weak and feeble the devil’s power is. Being slapped, He made known our enfranchisement [just as we do in the case of a slave]. He bore with the abuse, punishment and beating due to us.
He was struck in the side, making Him more like Adam. But, far from bringing forth the woman, who, by her straying, gave birth to death, He made a spring of life to gush out (Gn 2:21; Jn 19:34). And this gives life to the world by means of a twofold stream – the first renews and re-clothes us in the garment of immortality in the baptistery and following this birth, the second, feeds us at God’s table, just as one suckles a newborn child.” … St Theodoret of Cyrus (c 393-c 460) Bishop (Treatise on the Incarnation, 26-27).
PRAYER – O God, Who to drive far from us, the power of the enemy, didst will that Thy Son should suffer for us on the gibbet of the Cross, grant us Thy servants, that we may obtain the grace of the resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).