Holy Week 2020
by Seattle ALC
This week has been also called “the quiet week” in the Scandinavian countries. The church buildings across the lands may indeed be quiet. Nearly two thousand years ago our Savior was silent before His accusers, yet he was not quiet. In Hebrews 12:2, we are told “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,”. It is our time to be silent. He took our sin and shame, so that on the morning of the third day we could share in His joy, it becomes ours! I submit the following article by the late Pastor Alvin Holmgren. Pastor Stan
SURELY HE HAS BORNE OUR GRIEFS
Several hundred years before the coming of the Savior, Prophet Isaiah was given a revelation of the Lord’s passion. He was seen as one who was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; as one who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; and as one who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.
During the lifetime of Jesus, he lived among those whom he came to save. Jesus had dealings with people of all walks of life. He read their thoughts, saw their life styles, and observed their waywardness. Transgressions of God’s law were found not only among the publicans, but also among the Pharisees and the scribes. They all needed a saviour, and Jesus came to save them all. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way (Isaiah 53:6).
His was a sinless life–though tempted in all points like as we are, he was yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). When the hour began to approach that he would be numbered with the transgressors, and bear the sin of many and make intercession for the saints (Isaiah 53:12), Jesus prayed: “Now is my soul troubled. Father, save me from this hour, but for this cause have I come unto this hour” (John 12:27). On that fateful night when he came to the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples, he took Peter, James and John with him farther into the garden and said to them: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Tarry ye here and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). Then He fell upon the ground on his face and in prayer pleaded for the removal of the cup that the Father had given him to drink. Three times the Saviour repeated this prayer.
We must again consider the reason for the earnestness of this prayer. The time had come when the Lord had laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). F.W. Krummacher writes that Jesus was now standing in a nearer relationship to our sins than that of merely beholding them. God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).
The cup that he was given to drink contained our sin in all of its vast and varied forms. It contained the curse of God upon sin, and that curse is death. Jesus had to experience all that is implied in being separated from God, deprived of his Father, estranged from his affection, and being a child of wrath. He had to experience the distress of the dammed, and those infernal horrors referred to in the prophetic lamentations of King David in the twenty-second psalm: Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws, and thou has brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cost lots upon my vesture (Psalm 22:11-18).
In writing of our redemption, Apostle Peter states that it has not been obtained with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as that of a lamb without blemish and without spot (I Peter 1:18-19). Let each of us remember the dreadful price that Jesus paid for our redemption. We must not look at it only in the sense that he paid the sin debt of the world. Let our prayer be that we will never forget that God makes individual accounting with each one whom he has created and whom he has redeemed.
By Pastor Emeritus Alvin C. Holmgren
O Sacred Head Now Wounded
By Bernard of Clairvaux
“What Thou, my Lord, has suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor. Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this, Thy dying sorrow; Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever; and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.”