We woke up on Tuesday morning of Holy Week to word that another terrorist plot had been carried out, this time in the “outer part” of an airport terminal – with one of the bombs going off in the area where passengers get dropped off and picked up. – an area most of us have probably been in any number of airports. Parents and loved ones of numerous people who were flying back to the United States that morning had to wait, with almost no news, as to whether the people flying successfully got on their planes and “got out” or were involved in the tragedy. And there ended up being some of each.
This certainly is a tragedy. And especially with the news of three Americans injured who were serving their church, it tends to hit home that, when evil wishes to spread its reign of terror, no one can feel safe. There is, incidentally more on this from our church body being added to our website.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that blood has been shed on Holy Week. And just in case the prophecies fulfilled in the death of Christ have not “hit home” for us personally, read these – and then remember that it could – and should have been us, not Christ, receiving the carnage – the scourging – and yes, a seemingly undeserved death – all because of our sins.
- Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one Man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put Him to death.
John 11:48-53, E.S.V.
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for He delights in him!” You lay me in the dust of death; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
from Psalm 22, E.S.V.
- [Jesus said:] “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecute Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
John 15:18-21, E.S.V.
- He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of My people. And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; He has put him to grief. My servant shall make many to be accounted righteous, for He shall bear their iniquities. He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
from Isaiah, chapter 53, E.S.V.
- Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the Name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
I Peter 4:12-14, E.S.V.
So while we pray for those affected by this tragedy, we pray for ourselves as well, grateful that our Lord sent His Son, who gave us His greatest gift of all, turning tragedy into triumph – His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death.