“Behold the man!” was Pontius Pilate’s short, yet most profound, sermon. Our endeavor this Lententide and Easter Sunday is to behold the man, God in human flesh, Jesus. Each time together, we are meditating on and proclaiming His real, bodily suffering and death as well as His physical resurrection. He knew all that real bodies experience; He suffered, wept, bled, ate, and hoped.
Do you ever speculate what you would do if you could meet God? Ask Him a question? Fall down in reverence and fear? Sing a doxology? Run away? Punch Him?
The last option is the one the official of the high priest chose. In a zealous attempt to defend the honor of the high priest, the one who exists to mediate between God and men, this official struck the incarnate God, the Messiah, the eternal Second Person of the Trinity, fist to face. And who can blame him? Sinners hate God, whose holiness is lethal to those unholy and unclean.
And yet, in the person of Jesus, God has flesh for this very purpose, to be struck. But not by men. He has flesh—cheekbones to take a punch, lungs that the wind can be knocked out of, skin that can bruise and bleed—so that He can be struck by God the Father. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And what happens to all the lambs, offered by all the high priests since Aaron, who have the sins of the people confessed onto them? They get their throats slit, their bodies sliced, their blood poured out, and their flesh burned.
Here is the paradox of the incarnation: only a God you can punch could be a God who can forgive punches.
Bulletin 20210303 Midweek of Lent 2 V.pdf
Wednesday (Mar 3rd):
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