Posted by: Pauline | March 22, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday March 29

Isaiah 50:4-9a

This passage is the third of the “Servant Songs” in Isaiah. The servant describes himself as someone to whom God has given words to teach others, words of encouragement to the weary. Others oppose him, however, and shame him by beatings, pulling out his beard, and spitting in his face. Despite all this, he is faithful to God. Moreover, he does not consider himself to have been disgraced, because God is with him and will vindicate him.

Psalm 31:9-16

Like the servant in Isaiah, the psalm trusts in God despite suffering at the hands of his enemies. The ultimate example of trust in God through suffering was Jesus, who apparently had this psalm in mind when he was dying on the cross. His final words, “Into your hand I commit my spirit,” come from verse 5 (not included in the passage for this Sunday).

Mark 15:1-39

On Palm Sunday we might expect to read the Gospel story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, while people wave palm branches and shout “Hosanna!” That story is important, but Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday, because it begins the week of Jesus’ suffering, a week to which each of the Gospels devotes several chapters because of its central importance to the Gospel message.

It is true that we will hear this story again on Good Friday, but it is a story worth hearing again. It is not a comfortable story to hear, but it is central to our understanding of who Jesus is, why He came, and what He did to accomplish our salvation.

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