Tuesday of Holy Week: “I gave my back to the smiters”

The Lesson for the Lord’s Supper today in the BCP is Isaiah 50:5-9a. I present it to you in the ESVUK:

The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;

I turned not backwards.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

I have no great commentary for you. Here is foreshadowed the scourging of Christ. When I think on it, I remember watching The Passion of the Christ in the movie theatre and weeping in the darkness — He endured this torment for me. For you.

We weep as we praise in Holy Week. Even if the liturgy allowed it, “Hallelujah,” would stick in our throats.

Hence my favourite Orthodox icon, ‘The Bridegroom’:

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