Palm Sunday: Righteous Suffering

Palm Sunday: Righteous Suffering

Isaiah 50:4-9a

This passage reminds us that at the center of faith stands a man who died for his love of us—Jesus Christ. 

It re-assures us that it is the word of God that sustains the weary. The prophet was determined to deliver this message to wearied hearts:

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
That I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
—Isaiah 50:4a

Indeed, God continued to give him words of encouragement, “Morning by morning...” Every morning as the servant awakes, he becomes even more acutely aware of the desperate situation in which his people live. He did everything in his power to warn and teach the people what it means to be a follower of God, staying faithful to the message.

Missionary Service

In the same way, people who proclaim the word of God through missionary service face stiff opposition, sometimes even from colleagues. We are not, and must not be deterred under any circumstances, because, like the suffering servant, we firmly rely on God and will be proved right someday. We learn from Christ’s example that when love is the motive, sacrifice is never measured:

The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;
Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I shall not be put to shame.
—Isaiah 50:7

In the same way, Jesus’ passion, his Palm Sunday triumph, was the outcome of his obedience to God. In the face of rejection, he relied on God to prove Him right. 

The story of this text is the story of God’s sacrificial love for us. Many of us are willing to serve others if it does not cost anything. When love is the motive, sacrifice is never measured. 

In Christ-like humility and suffering lies our victory, as in the cross our glory.

Lord, open my ears to your word and grant me the ability to sustain the weary that I encounter in my ministry - Amen.

Dr. Catherine Mudime Akale, a native of Cameroon, is a United Methodist Women Regional Missionary assigned to work with women in select African Countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, as well as ecumenically.

Posted or updated: 4/2/2020 12:00:00 AM

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Lent and Easter 2020

February 26: Ash Wednesday
March 1: First Sunday in Lent
March 8: Second Sunday in Lent
March 15: Third Sunday in Lent
March 22: Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 29: Fifth Sunday in Lent
April 5: Palm Sunday
April 9: Maundy Thursday
April 10: Good Friday
April 12: Easter Sunday