I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
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The words of the prophet foreshadow the strength of will and purpose that is the picture of Jesus as he entered into Jerusalem and toward the cross. The voice inside my head is clicking through mountains of details in the process of preparations for Holy Week and Easter. But as the day of the cross draws near, my voice, though relentlessly still jabbering, fades in volume. Eventually it will be a whisper and completely silent. The cross of Christ does that to me. It quiets me until I find myself standing, huddled, with my face turned away from any light. I stand with the others who can only watch. I want to do more than watch but I can't. Watching is hard enough. Not to lean into the pain of this story and just hitting fast-forward to Easter is simply another way of spitting Jesus in the face. So I watch from my land of shadows and silence because that is what this follower of Jesus needs to do from time to time.
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Holy God, quiet the din in my head and turn my face toward you. Amen.