(15 April 2014, 31 March 2015)
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of your tender love towards mankind, has sent your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hates nothing that you have made and forgives the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Isaiah 50:5-11; Psalm 13; Romans 5:6-19; Mark 15:1-39
Where yesterday highlighted our sinfulness in contrast to God’s faithfulness, we now focus on the positive results of Christ’s death. We read about his suffering and death both directly in the Gospel reading and prefigured in the Old Testament. But Isaiah doesn’t just describe Jesus, he also challenges us, his audience, to be just as bold and faithful in suffering, knowing that the light of Christ in us is brighter than the darkness of this world. (Thus also today’s Psalm begins in mourning and ends in joy.) All of this is made possible because, as the Epistle teaches, Jesus’ death not only demonstrates God’s love, but actually overrules the power of sin and death such that we can stand justified before God.