taking it personally
"The Lord was pleased to crush Him in infirmity." —Isaiah 53:10
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be "pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins" (Is 53:5). Jesus was crushed because "the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all" (Is 53:6). One person's guilt can cause him or her to collapse (see Hos 14:2) or even be crushed. Imagine (if you can) all the weight of all the guilt of all sins of every person who has lived or will ever live. Imagine this weight pressing upon one person at one time. Then you can understand why "so marred was His [Jesus'] look beyond that of man, and His appearance beyond that of mortals" (Is 52:14). Jesus suffered on the cross more than can ever be imagined.
Jesus died because of our sins. Consequently, each of us is partly responsible for Jesus' brutal death (Catechism, 598). Nevertheless, Jesus suffered dreadfully and died for each of us personally. Therefore, the least we can do is to:
- live lives of thanksgiving to our crucified Savior,
- love Him "with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, with all [our] strength, and with all [our] mind" (Lk 10:27),
- tell as many people as possible about the One Who has loved us even to death on the cross, and
- be eager to die a martyr's death in imitation of Jesus.
When a person comes to the realization that he partly caused Jesus' death and was perfectly loved in His death, that person lives no longer for himself, "but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up" (2 Cor 5:15). Enter the new life of the crucified (Gal 2:19).
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit so that I will take Jesus' crucifixion and death personally.
Promise: "The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve — to give His life in ransom for the many." —Mk 10:45
Praise: Praise the risen Lord, for "by His stripes we were healed" (Is 53:5; 1 Pt 2:24).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003