Jesus chooses us–even to enduring the pain of living and to the point of us crucifying him.
Vicar Mollie Hamre
Passion Sunday, Year A
Texts: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14-27:66
Beloved in Christ, grace and peace to you in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today Jesus chooses us.
Jesus, God with us, does what he has always done: choosing to love his people and creation. Pouring himself out as a covenant. Showing compassion amidst rejection. Offering love to his disciples, and us. Telling us that we are beloved, important to this world, and receive this love freely–calling us back to look upon the cross.
And yet today, we also see our Triune God on the cross crucified by us. We are the ones betraying and ignoring Jesus. The ones choosing fear and power over love and compassion. And no matter how many times the Passion is read, it is still uncomfortable, still heavy, and sits on one’s chest as we look to the cross.
In hearing this, speaking it, feeling the weight of it, we see our fears and doubts on display asking questions about what is happening in our world and where God is. These cries intensify as we reflect on how they appear in our world. Lives that are lost in school shootings. Voices that are oppressed. Questions that are left unanswered.
And Jesus, God with us, experiences it with us too. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In a time when we crave to hear words of comfort from Jesus that we have become so familiar with in the Gospels, his voice is filled with pain. He is forced into silence by injustice. Rejected by his friends. Left in grief, sadness, and affliction. But still Jesus reaches out.
What does that mean for us?
That our Triune God chooses us, to dwell with us, to experience fear and being human? That our Triune God experiences the violence and oppressive forces of the world? That amidst it all Jesus, God with us, chooses us. Even on the cross.
When we betray Jesus, Jesus answers with love, forgiveness, and mercy. When we reject Jesus, Jesus answers by sharing a meal with us. When we place Jesus on the cross, Jesus answers with compassionate, outstretched arms. And when Jesus dies on the cross … we wait in hope to one day rise with him.
In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.