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Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ, was a vivid portrayal of our Lord’s physical pain. But the prophet Isaiah profoundly tells us why He suffered. We read in Isaiah 53: “He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us like sheep, have strayed away. We left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly. Yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away…he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.” Today, as we reflect on Christ’s horrific suffering, we bow in gratitude for such love, and for God’s promise that He will forgives all who place their faith in Him.

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