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Good Friday sermons aren’t always easy to sit through. They’re even tougher to preach. Never have I been more moved or more likely to squirm in my seat in church than on Good Friday. Perhaps that’s because they invite us to sit in the midnight passages of Scripture, caught up with suffering, death, and the purposes of God. For many of us, it is a trial to read Good Friday texts and still see God as good.
Might I suggest that the careful use of historical Christian doctrine can help?
Isaiah - Prophecy - Suffering - Servant - Context
Take Isaiah 53’s shadowy prophecy of the Suffering Servant. In its own context, mystery lies thick around the Servant. A disturbing portrait of travail and torment mystifies and perplexes, even as it enthralls. In the earlier Songs of the Servant in Isaiah, he is clearly a communal figure for Israel in exile. But in this chapter, the communal figure becomes a concrete individual—an enigmatic and tragic one. Despised and rejected by...
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