BY: Fr. Justus Oruma.


(a) Isaiah 53 captures beautifully the ordeals of the suffering Messiah: “He lost all beauty, there is nothing in his appearance that we should desire, he was rejected and despised by mankind, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. 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. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave.”


(b) Why must the Son of Man suffer many things and be killed? (Mark. 8:31). It is because “the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23), and “without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins” (Heb. 9:22) Every sin brings about damage and rupture. Then there would be need for reparation as costly as shedding of blood. Out of love for us, He paid for our sins in atonement, amendments and reparations for the damages caused by sin. “Our sins he carried in His Body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness and by His wounds you have been healed” (1Pt.2:24). The weight of the cross therefore does not accrue from the mass of the wood but from our sins. Our sins he carried not just the wood of the cross.

(c) The state of the suffering Messiah shows us the extent mortal sin disfigures and damages our souls, the society, our relationship with God and man. Every sin, private or public causes damages. Consider the cruel suffering the Messiah had to pass through in order to obtain pardon and reparations for sins. It tells us that it not easy for God to forgive our sins; that the pardon we gain quickly in the Sacrament of Confession is not as easy as we may think, that the wiping away our sins is not dismissed just with the wave of hands. Recall the statement in the Gospel; “which is easier to say, Your sins are forgiven you or get up and walk” (Matt.9:5). Recalling what the Messiah passed through today, let us not quickly run back to sins as habits and as if it is easy to pay for our sins each time. Bruises and wounds were sustained, blood was spilt, there were disfigurements, the Son of God was made a mockery, killed and hanging on the cross naked between two thieves, and those who have chosen to live in sin “are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (Heb. 6:6), but by His wounds, we have been healed.”


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