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Jesus, Who Takes Away the Blame

Today’s Reflection

Read John 9:1-7.

“WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?” What an appropriate question for Good Friday. This question assumes that God blesses the righteous and curses the wicked.

Our first son, Matthew, was born with a congenital heart defect. My wife and I did not know about these problems before his birth but were surprised by these facts minutes after he took his first breath.

Whose fault was it? Who was to blame for this suffering of the innocent? These questions tortured us and our families as we tried to make sense of our new journey.

I’m sure the parents of the man born blind raised the same questions at his birth. Many people back then (and even now) believe that illness and disability represent God’s anger toward an individual. The religious leaders at the Temple may have conveyed the belief that the man would never merit God’s love or be accepted as an equal in fellowship with others.

Imagine this man conversing with himself, saying, “I wish I were the same as …” He not only desires to see but to know that God doesn’t hold a grudge against him or his family. …

Then Jesus utters words of healing: “Neither this man nor his parents…” Another miracle takes place: theologies and perspectives change. The man receives his sight and the confirmation that God is not angry with him.

The cross offers a statement of wholeness. Jesus, the innocent one, suffered; but God did not abandon us. God continues to love us; God loves us still.

– Wessel Bentley
The Miracles of Jesus

From pages 98-99 of The Miracles of Jesus: Meditations and Prayers for Lent by Wessel Bentley. Copyright © 2012 by Wessel Bentley. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

“The cross offers a statement of wholeness.” What does that wholeness mean to you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30, NRSV

This Week: pray for people observing Holy Week and celebrating Easter around the world. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Clara Barton (April 12).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller April 14, 2017, 4:49 am

    At first one might wonder how wholeness could be found dying on a cross, but God gave His only son, perfect, divine, complete, the best, to pay for the sins of the entire world. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the only one capable of this and willingly He did what needed to be done, forgiving those who put Him to death, saying, “Father, they know not what they do.” Thank You, Lord, for without Your death and resurrection we have no hope.

    Yes, prayers for all who remember Holy Week and celebrate Easter, especially those who live where the threat of death hangs over them as the gather for worship.

    Today is the toughest day for us as Christians. It is miserable from the late night events of yesterday and all through today. We witness horrible agony and suffering that seemingly ends with death. Unlike Jesus’ disciples we know that resurrection is coming.

    Prayers for all who come to the UR, every believer, and those about to believe.

  • Jill April 14, 2017, 6:19 am

    The “wholeness” – the completeness of my salvation…of everyone’s salvation. We don’t have to earn it, don’t have to strive – just accept the gift. Humbly, grateful, trusting. Indeed, the work is done – the Sacrificial Lamb, for our sins.
    So grateful to attend a Passover service last evening at the church I have been visiting. It seemed just right – simple, sacred, a reverent and quiet dismissal. Different resources during this week have given me much to think about – grateful for them. Grateful for 10 wonderful days of spring break – an oasis in this desert.

  • Rusty April 14, 2017, 6:24 am

    Here is a devotional I wrote for my church this year. I think it says something about wholeness and the cross.

    JESUS: It is finished.

    EVERYCHRISTIAN: How can it be finished? Look at what is going on in the world! And in my life! How can you say that, Jesus? How dare you say that? You died, Jesus – you DIED! I can’t do this, Jesus. It is too much for me. I try, Jesus – really, I try! I know I’m not perfect. It’s more than I can bear. They say you came back. How can that be? They say all things are possible … with God. Yet, I don’t see how it’s possible. I don’t see it. But, what if you did come back …? What if there was … a miracle? What if … ? You suffered, Jesus … and yet, there was more. The suffering wasn’t the end. It wasn’t the end. You were the first … they say. You made a way … and I can follow … Follow You …. Oh, my Lord!

    JESUS: It is finished

  • Betsy April 14, 2017, 7:09 am

    I see the wholeness as God’s perfection. He sacrificed His son to save us and preserve us. Glory be to God.
    Blessings to all as we conclude this Holy Week with the journey to the cross. He has risen indeed!

  • Julie April 14, 2017, 7:52 am

    Wholeness … the cross was the completion f Jesus’ ministry on earth. His work during his life was complete rhle. He was soon to return to God and the Holy Spirit would be revealed to us – the wholeness of the trinity. Lastly, as a christian once I accept Jesus and hs sacrifice on the cross I am made whole
    Blessings to all who visit here this Good Friday

  • Gail April 14, 2017, 8:29 am

    There is nothing that I experience in this life that is equal to or worse than what Jesus went through during Holy Week and on the cross. I may think I am suffering. But not really. Others in this life have it worse (from my point of view) than I. When I think I have it bad I remember my Savior. And there is no reason for me to fear the door from this life to the next. In fact, I can begin to experience eternal life now, because knowing God is to have eternal life.

    Americans are particularly blessed, in my opinion.

    Blessings to all.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 15, 2017, 12:36 am

    Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins so that I am restored and made whole!

  • robert moeller April 15, 2017, 5:23 am

    Glad to hear from you Mary. Yes, we are presented blameless before God because of Jesus. Thank You, Lord.

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