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Lenten Devotion March 17

By: Olivia Whitener
Readings: Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 53:10-12; Hebrews 2:1-9

In combination with the beginning of the second chapter of Hebrews, Psalm 31:9-16 tells of the suffering of humanity. The psalmist cries out, “I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel” (13). These are the words of one who feels useless—alone, terrified, and suffering a death-like pain.

Who in our world today speaks these same words?

On the border of the U.S. and Mexico we hear cries of families who feel forgotten, whose loved ones have perished without a gravesite. From within the cells of prisons, we hear the muffled cries of those sentenced to life and death through incarceration. At hospital bedsides, loved ones are crying out “Why us?” as they watch their children, grandparents, spouses, and siblings pass painfully to the other side.

As we see, hear, and experience these pains, today’s reading from Hebrews provides a refrain that often gives me courage: “…but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (2:9).

But we do see Jesus. For our sake he was crucified, died, and was buried. And on the third day he rose again. Jesus knows the sufferings of our human lives, and through the anguish we see God’s light in Him (Isaiah 53:11).

Take a minute to pray today for those who are in the throes of death, depression, heartbreak, and loss. Pray for those in need. Pray also for your own needs. Then take a minute to reflect on where you have seen Jesus recently, in those sufferings and in glimmers of hope. May you see Jesus, and may this encourage you this day. Amen.

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