Onaway & Millersburg UMC
Friday, April 10, 2020
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Lenten Devotion

Lent Daily Devotion

Day 39 - April 10th  (Good Friday)
Read: Matthew 26:36
First, don't forget joining the Good Friday Worship Service.
The link is on "VIDEO- Service" tab. 
Before you go to sleep tonight, think about today's worship service and what God told you in the service. And, take quiet time to meditate Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane and make Jesus' prayer of surrender your own in the midst of your Gethsemane moment. 

Upper Room - April 10th
Luke 18:15-17  

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Good Friday 
Although today's passage is deeply revered by Christians, its meaning is far from clear. Despite the problems with interpretation - we don't even know for sure who the servant is - this passage has had a profound effect on believers. In these verses, the early Christians heard the story of the crucifixion. We also find many parallels to the Gospels' stories of Jesus' death on the cross.
What we can see in this model is that Jesus - innocent, free of guilt - took on himself the punishment for our rebellion and waywardness. There is nowhere for us to hide; we are revealed as we truly are: "All we like sheep have gone astray." We are on shaky ground as we stand before the suffering servant on this Good Friday. But incredibly, hope emerges from the horror f the crucifixion. We can see rising from the ashes the beauty of God's act of reconciliation and redemption. Even though we were sinners, Christ died for us. (See Romans 5:8) We see the Lord in his perfection suffering for sinners like us. 
Where suffering had previously been explained as the inevitable consequence of disobedience or as a test of faithfulness, this model is different. Here, suffering taken on willingly, silently, vicariously, by one doing the will of God is an act of redemption. When we see our own suffering in the same light, mourning transforms into rejoicing. In the words of Hebrew 12, it was for the joy that was set before him that Jesus endured the cross and disregarded its shame. Such love for sinners on this Good Friday stuns us and leaves us slack-jawed as we lift our hearts to the Lord.
Loving God, as we gather today to pray and reflect on Jesus' death on the cross, we are filled with gratitude that your mercy is wide enough to include every one of us who accepts your gift. Indeed, your suffering has redeemed us, and we rejoice. Amen. 
  - Kathleen Stephens