March 01, 2010

Feel the Pain

John 19:28-37

“They will look on the one they have pierced.”
John 19:37


The season of Lent began a couple of weeks ago and will span the whole month of March. Our meditations for this month will focus on Scriptures that are not often associated with our Lord’s journey to the cross: the twelve books of the minor prophets at the end of the Old Testament.

What should we keep in mind as we work through these Old Testament passages? One thing we should do is try to feel the pain that is being described. Reading these books of prophecy can be downright depressing at times. But the anguish we encounter here is real. It is an accurate description of a world that is often at odds with God, its Creator.

Sometimes we feel the pain described in these books in a very personal way. We feel the prophets’ fear, and we join them in their laments. In times like these, we are well positioned to appreciate the suffering of Jesus in new ways. As John indicates in today’s Scripture reading, when Jesus was pierced by a soldier’s spear, a prophecy in Zechariah 12:10 was fulfilled. Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, is the site of both suffering and healing.

Let’s look carefully at the One who was pierced. Let’s come to the cross, where Jesus endured his greatest pain, and where the world finds its ultimate promise.

Thank you, Lord, for taking on all the hurts of the world. Help us always to turn to you for comfort and to share the hope of the good news with others. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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