Week 5: The Cross of Christ Reconciles Us to One Another
Close your eyes and take five deep breaths. In this moment of silent time, let your daily concerns fade into the background of your mind.
(Pray the following slowly, intentionally, and in silence)
it’s so hard to love the world sometimes
and to love it the way Jesus did seems impossible.
I am far too inclined to seek comfort,
And stay as comfortable as possible.
Help me to be inspired by Jesus’ love and
guided by his compassionate example,
journeying with those who are suffering.
I need you, God, to give me support in this journey.
Show me how to unlock my heart.
Let me be less fearful of the pain and darkness
that will be transformed by you into Easter joy.
(Read the following passages slowly, intentionally, and aloud)
Matthew 27: 45-46
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
7 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.
- When Jesus cries out the words of Psalm 22 (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) how does it make you feel? What questions does it raise? What questions does it answer?
- What can we learn from Jesus’ own prayers? How did he pray? Why was he heard? Were his prayers always given a “yes” answer from the Father?
(Read the passages above again, aloud)
(Pray the prayer above again, intentionally, and now aloud)
What can you do, this week, to intentionally set aside your comfort and enter into someone’s struggle?
About Lent: Lent is a season during which we remember the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This guide is designed to be a guide for those who wish to wholeheartedly enter into the story behind Lent, just as Jesus’ disciples did. You may have been following Jesus for decades. You may have never set foot in a church. At the foot of Christ’s cross, none of that matters. All that matters is that God gave his only begotten Son to save the world. To save this town. To save you.
For the season of Lent, I’m going to pause my normal routine of summarizing and reflecting on the sermon, and offer this resource for guided prayer and scripture reading. To use this guide, simply follow the instructions for each part, giving yourself enough time to absorb the content and enter in with your body, mind, and spirit.