Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent
Two days in a row, the crowd wants to stone Jesus. Yesterday, it was at the end of the gospel passage. Today, it is at the beginning. Both times, Jesus has evaded the crowds, but the ring is closing around Him. As we will see this Sunday, death is not far off. And while the death that the crowds have had in mind the past two days–stoning–is a far sight better than crucifixion, it is still a grisly and painful way to die. The crowds seem set that not only will Jesus die, but He will die in agony.
The Psalm today has as the response “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice.” The Psalmist’s enemies have surrounded him, as Jesus is surrounded today. They threaten to overwhelm and destroy. The Lord hears his voice, and goes to him–in peril. The Lord has constantly heard our voices, our cries of distress, and followed us straight into our peril. To save a child from a burning building, you have to run into the fire; to save us from our distress, the Lord has run headlong into that distress. When we hear the Lord’s voice, will we do likewise for Him?