“They Were Greatly Distressed”
We confess, O Lord, that even now we are sometimes distressed by the crucifixion of Jesus.
Cause us to ponder why.
Perhaps we are distressed by the cruelty of those who would harm and kill an innocent person—and by the knowledge that such cruelty still exists today.
Perhaps we are distressed by the realization that someone could be pure of heart enough to give his life for people who don’t deserve it—and by the reality that we are among those people.
Perhaps we are distressed by the implications of Jesus’ death for those who would dare to be his followers—and by the call on our lives to take up our cross and follow him.
O Lord, take our distress and turn it into inspiration to counter cruelty with love, to counter selfishness with sacrifice, and to counter aimlessness with purpose.
“As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.’ And they were greatly distressed.” (Matthew 17:22-23)