Lectionary Commentaries for April 2, 2021
Good Friday

from WorkingPreacher.org


Commentary on John 18:1—19:42

Gennifer Benjamin Brooks

On this holiest of Christian observances, Jesus’ death is front and center. John offers a blow-by-blow account of the betrayal by Judas, the trial, sentencing, rejection by the crowd, crucifixion, and burial. Although we know the real ending comes with Jesus’ resurrection, it is important that as Christians we approach the events of the day with the solemnity and seriousness that it deserves. 

This lengthy text of Jesus’ passion is not easily read in its entirety in most congregations, and it is often overridden by the conglomerate narrative contained in the Seven Last Words (of Christ) that are ritually preached in a three-hour service in many churches, or perhaps by the poignancy of a Tenebrae service, moving from light to darkness or even observance of the longer Stations of the Cross. Despite this, the story narrated in this lengthy pericope in the fourth Gospel is familiar to most church-goers and even in some summative form to most professed Christians. Therefore, as preachers we are challenged to make inviting that which has been taken for granted and to shine new light on that which has been heard too often for some and which, while not discarded, has been relegated to the forgotten familiar.

There is much that may be preached from this text, but in light of the global situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide call for justice for people of color, there are nuggets of information that may be taken from the text that may well fit the current societal context nationally and globally. Here are a few issues that arise from the text that relate to the present national context, and that, depending on your preaching context, may provide fodder for a Good Friday sermon.

  1. Jesus’ arrest and trial

Jesus, innocent of any wrong-doing, carrying out his mandate of seeking justice for all people, is betrayed into the hands of an establishment that cares little for those on the lower levels or on the fringes of society. He is tried and convicted without conclusive evidence. He exemplifies the situation of so many who, although innocent or for whom there is no conclusive evidence of culpability, are forced to defend themselves against accusations that are untrue and unjust. In many instances they are convicted in courts that serve their own type of justice based on laws and policies that do serious harm to those who are not considered of worth in society.

  1. Mob rule and violence

The spectacle of the storming of the Capitol building is burnt into our hearts and minds. Again and again moving pictures were shown on television and the horrific event was seen in homes in the United States and around the world. The people are egged on and the mob that results is difficult to contain. One can well imagine the furor of the crowd that called for Jesus’ crucifixion. It does not require much imagination to put before the congregation the danger that exists in allowing oneself to be swayed by rhetoric that calls for the destruction of any person, place, or thing, or when one is caught in the grip of unchecked emotion sparked by the rejection of civility and personal responsibility.

While it is not particularly helpful to dwell on the cause of the insurrection that resulted in the storming of the Capitol, the event provides an opportunity to call the hearers to reflect on the propensity of individuals to follow the crowd. It offers a caveat against unchecked anger or a follow-the-crowd mentality that is generally destructive. It invites the preacher to offer cautions based on the treatment of Jesus by an unruly mob, fueled by unjustified anger based on untruths, and to invite the hearers to seek the truth that is often evident upon careful research or measured consideration.

  1. The notion of power

Jesus knows that the cross is his destiny. He knows that as Son of God he has the omnipotence of the divine. Yet he chooses not to exercise his divine power in the face of human injustice. When Pilate expresses the belief that his power is the greatest and therefore can be exercised either for or against Jesus, Jesus responds with divine confidence, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given to you from above….” So often as leaders of God’s people we assert with righteous zeal that we have empowered the people. And yet, all power belongs to God.

On the other hand, so many in society, especially during the present crises, feel powerless because of their circumstances. This text reminds us, and provides an opportunity to remind the people of God, that as long as we hold fast to God, God empowers us to deal with every circumstance of our lives. Regardless of the loss we have suffered, whether of loved ones who have died, or much-needed employment, or the company of friends and family, or even the sense of who we are because of the changes that have been forced upon us, we are not powerless. God gives us power to face every circumstance. Jesus, the all-powerful God in human flesh, is our model. He trusted in the power of God to bring him through this death-dealing situation and so can we. So we must as we look to the future that God is already shaping in each life.

The challenge to offer a relevant word for our times from this time-worn but honored text should begin with the reality of our global context that calls the preacher to dig deeply into the text and ask the relevant questions for this time. In so doing, the preacher can receive the response that lies within this story, that speaks clearly of God’s amazing love shown in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

First Reading

Commentary on Isaiah 52:13—53:12

Brennan Breed

This fourth and final “Servant Song” in the book of Isaiah (see also Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7) is so often quoted and alluded to, especially within Christian discussions about Jesus’ death on the cross, that it has become difficult to engage it with fresh eyes and an open mind. 

For millennia, Christians have interpreted Isaiah 52:13-53:12 as a prophecy of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see also Matthew 8:17; Acts 8:32-35; 1 Peter 2:22). This interpretation is important—especially on Good Friday—but it does not entirely deplete the hermeneutical potential of this text. As Frederick Buechner once preached about Jesus at the supper at Emmaus: “No sooner did they know who he was than he vanished from their sight… They could not nail him down. And that is how he always is. We can never nail him down, not even if the nails we use are real ones and the thing we nail him to is a cross.”1 Like Jesus, the songs of the Suffering Servant evade our simplistic and narrow understandings: they are complex, containing multitudes. We cannot nail them down.

Some verses in Isaiah 40-66 clearly refer to the remnants of Judah and Israel as “my servant” (Isaiah 41:8-9; 44:1-2; 21; 49:3), suggesting that the community of survivors have undergone excruciating suffering on behalf of the world—and this hermeneutical potential forms the core of the Jewish interpretive tradition on these texts. Yet other verses suggest that the recurring figure of the servant is an individual person who has a mission to help Israel (Isaiah 49:6), suggesting that the servant is either a prophet who suffers for delivering YHWH’s message, like Jeremiah or Moses (see also Jeremiah 11:18-20), or a future savior—which has most often been identified as Jesus by Christian interpreters. In Isaiah 53:4-6, the speaker shifts from YHWH (“my servant,” 52:13) to an anonymous group who claims that the servant suffered on their behalf (“he was pierced for our transgressions, crushed from our iniquities,” verse 5). God is named as the active agent inflicting the servant’s pain (verses 4, 10) and also the servant’s exaltation (verse 12). 

Vicarious suffering is an important element in ancient Israelite theology, especially in dealing with the trauma of the Exile. If the Suffering Servant is the collective body of the survivors of the Exile, then the text suggests that their suffering was necessary for the future survival of the people of Judah. This should strike us as dangerous theology, to say the least. In its ancient setting, in the midst of the communal disaster of the Exile, Kathleen O’Connor shows that the biblical tendency to self-assign “guilt, shame, and burden of responsibility… gives structure and meaning to chaotic and vacuous experiences.”2 As O’Connor explains, scholars working in modern trauma and disaster studies have learned that assigning blame to oneself in the wake of a disaster can be beneficial, but only when exercised with one’s own agency, and only as a temporary step on a longer road of healing. Scholars such as Delores Williams have pointed out that, throughout Christian history, vicarious suffering has most often been used by the powerful as a tool to manipulate and oppress others.3 Instead of using blame as a temporary step to finding individual and communal wholeness, Christians have more often determined that the Jewish community must suffer; Christian men have often decided that women must suffer; white Christians have often proclaimed the necessity of Black suffering, or immigrant suffering, or non-Christian suffering, as a way to deny our own responsibility and culpability for the suffering in the world.

Perhaps especially in the mainline Church in the United States, we can find another way to read the Suffering Servant poems today. Jeremy Schipper, for example, has demonstrated that the language of Isaiah 53 precludes an atonement setting; the description of a “marred” servant (Isaiah 52:14) explicitly disqualifies him/them from serving as a sacrifice (see also Leviticus 22:25), and the word for “slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7) is used exclusively for butchering and cooking animals, not offering them as sacrifices.4 As in Jeremiah 11:19, the imagery of a lamb being led to slaughter describes the communal abuse of an individual—our transgressions pierced him (Isaiah 53:5)—and the disfigured body of the suffering one is a living testimony, “lifting up the sins of the many” for all to see (Isaiah 53:12).

As James Cone argues in his book The Cross and the Lynching Tree, Americans in particular need to reckon with our history of white supremacist violence when we engage with the story of the crucifixion. When we think of Jesus’ cross, we must see its deep connection to the lynching tree.5 As Cone once wrote, “God in Christ became the Suffering Servant and thus took the humiliation and suffering of the oppressed into God’s own history.”6 In his understanding of the cross, God participates willingly in suffering to form solidarity with the oppressed—not because suffering is in itself good or healing or necessary. Like Mamie Till-Mobley, who demanded a public viewing for the disfigured corpse of her 13-your old son, Emmett Till, God “wanted the world to see what they did to my baby.” The transformative effect of Till’s lynching (“we were sitting in for Emmett Till,” John Lewis said of the activism that followed) might resonate with the stunned self-reflection of the speakers in Isaiah 53:4-6.7

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador once preached a sermon in memory of a fellow Salvadoran priest, Rutilio Grande, who had been killed by Salvadoran soldiers for organizing impoverished farmers. The Old Testament text for the day was Isaiah 53. Romero told the farmers gathered at the mass: “You are the image of the divine victim, ‘pierced for our offenses.’”8 Romero was not telling the farmers that they, or Grande, deserved their sufferings, or that it was just that they had to bear them, or that the suffering was redemptive in and of itself. Rather, Romero recognized that God was present with them in the midst of their unjust and undeserved sufferings.

We continue to live in a world shaped by violence, oppression, and injustice. There are many individuals, often ignored by those of us who have the privilege and the means to look elsewhere, who bear the sins of the many, etched indelibly into their bodies. The Coronavirus pandemic, the movements for racial justice in the wake of the murder of Black Americans, and the white supremacist riot in the United States Capitol building have all in different ways revealed the injustices that are present all around us. As we meditate on the horrific abuse and state sanctioned murder of Jesus on Good Friday, may we recognize his image in the victims we try so hard to ignore today, and may we—like the speakers of Isaiah 53:4-6—recognize our own culpability and be filled with a passion for God’s mission to “bring good news to the poor” (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-19).


  1. Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat (HarperOne: 1985).
  2. See Kathleen O’Connor, “Surviving Disaster in the Book of Jeremiah,” Word & World, 22 (2002): 369-377.
  3.  Delores Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993), 161-190.
  4. Jeremy Schipper, “Interpreting the Lamb Imagery in Isaiah 53,” Journal of Biblical Literature, 132 (2013): 315-325.
  5. James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2011).
  6. Cone, God of the Oppressed (New York: Seabury Press, 1975), 161.
  7. Cone, Cross and the Lynching Tree, 65-72.
  8. Jon Sobrino, Witnesses to the Kingdom: The Martyrs of El Salvador and the Crucified Peoples (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003), 28-31.



Commentary on Psalm 22

Jerome Creach

Psalm 22 is a prayer of complaint that, perhaps more than any psalm, serves as a link between the Old Testament and the story of Jesus’ passion.1

Indeed, this psalm is an appropriate lectionary reading for Good Friday because the Gospels cite and allude to it at least five times in the crucifixion account. It is important to recognize, however, that Psalm 22 is not important simply because it appears in the New Testament. Rather, the New Testament writers drew from it because of its profound expressions of suffering and faith.

Psalm 22 has “an intensity and a comprehensiveness” that is almost unequaled among psalms of this type.2 The psalm has two main parts:  (1) a prayer for help in verses 1-21a; and (2) a song of praise in verses 21b-31.  Both of these sections have two prominent divisions in which repetition of a main theme, sometimes with exact vocabulary, strengthens the psalm’s expression of both complaint and praise. Verses 1-11 has two complaints (verses 1-2, 6-8), each of which contains some of the most striking language in the Psalms. The psalm opens with the famous cry of dereliction, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

At the other end of this section the psalmist complains, “I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people” (verse 6). In both cases, however, the complaint is followed by an extended confession of trust that recalls God’s protection in the past (verses 3-5, 9-11). The first confession of trust is corporate (“In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them,” verse 4) and second individual and personal (“Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast,” verse 9).

The prayer for help in verses 12-21a focuses on the nature of the psalmist’s trouble. Verses 12-13 and 16a include images of animals that circle the psalmist waiting to devour and destroy (“bulls encircle me,” verse 12; “dogs are all around me,” verse 16a). These images are followed in both cases by complaints of physical weakness: “I am poured out like water” (verse 14); “my tongue sticks to my jaws” (verse 15a); “I can count all my bones” (verse 17). The section concludes with a concatenation of petitions for God to be near and to save from the sword, the dog, and the lion (verses 19-21a).

The second major portion of the psalm turns to praise and assurance that God has heard and answered. This section offers praise and thanksgiving that matches the repeated calls for help in verses 1-21a. Verse 21b responds tersely to the complaints of verses 1-18 by saying “From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.” The rest of the psalm then promises praise to God, promises that progress from the psalmist’s profession before worshippers (verses 22-25) to the praise of those who “sleep in the earth” (verse 29).

The psalmist’s promise of praise dominates verses 22-26. Twice the psalmist pledges to honor God by recalling God’s goodness (verse 22) and by making vows in the midst of the congregation (verse 25). After both promises of praise the psalmist then declares God’s past goodness to those in trouble and those of lowly estate (“the afflicted,” verse 24; “the poor” and “those who seek him,” verse 26; the word translated “afflicted” and the word translated “poor” are actually the same, ?an? ). Verses 27-31 then expand the promise of praise so that every person in human history is included: “all the families of the nations” (verse 27), “all who sleep in the earth” (verse 29), and “future generations” (verse 30).

The connection between Psalm 22 and the story of Jesus’ suffering and death is natural given the extensive description of suffering the psalm contains. Perhaps the most obvious connection between the passion story and Psalm 22 is Jesus’ cry of God-forsakenness: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46). Other portions of the psalm provide an outline of the experience of Jesus on the cross.

Mark 15:29 (Matthew 27:39) implies the language of Psalm 22:7 in the description of passersby at the crucifixion:

“All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads.”

Matthew 27:43 also frames the taunts of the religious leaders with an allusion to Psalm 22:8:

“Commit your cause to the LORD;
let him deliver —
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

In all four Gospels (Mark 15:24; Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:34; John 19:24) the description of the soldiers’ activity beneath the cross draws on Psalm 22:18:

“they divide my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

In addition to these examples, John 19:28 probably has Psalm 22:15 in mind when reporting that Jesus says, “I am thirsty” in order “to fulfill scripture.” The scripture fulfilled is most likely Psalm 22:15.

Though the original setting of Psalm 22 had nothing to do with the passion of Jesus, a Messianic reading is a natural result of the psalm’s extensive expression of suffering and its far-reaching declaration of hope. The psalm “explodes the limits” of poetic expression and thus expands the Old Testament understanding of God, human life, and death.3

Not only does the psalmist cry out to God with unparalleled expressions of pain and loss (verse 1), but the writer also expresses hope in something close akin to resurrection (verses 29-30). Thus, Psalm 22 is appropriate for the hope that accompanies Jesus’ passion as well as the grief. It anticipates a vision of God who holds the believer even after death that will only be expressed fully centuries later.


  1. Commentary first published on this site on April 6, 2012.
  2. James L. Mays, Psalms (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), p. 107.
  3. Ellen F. Davis, “Exploding the Limits: Form and Function in Psalm 22,” JSOT 53 (1992), 102-103.

Second Reading

Commentary on Hebrews 10:16-25

Craig R. Koester

The Epistle to the Hebrews explores the meaning of Jesus’ death through multiple lenses.1

The writer recognizes that no one-way of conveying the meaning is fully adequate. The interplay of perspectives is what gives depth. In this passage from Hebrews the lenses are drawn mainly from the Old Testament, which gives a deep resonance to the writer’s language. The primary texts were considered greater length earlier in Hebrews, allowing the writer to cite them more briefly here.

The lens of covenant construes the crucifixion in terms of Israel’s relationship with God. Earlier the writer recalled how the covenant was established at Mount Sinai, when Moses made the relationship tangible by spattering God’s altar and the people themselves with blood (Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrews 9:18-22). The Law was read aloud so its message could be heard. The spattering of blood was an action that formalized the relationship. Covenant making was done in a manner that could be seen and felt. Relating to God was not merely an idea; it involved a claim upon the whole person.

Hebrews also recalls that this same tangible quality of covenant life was part of Israel’s ongoing relationship with God. In earlier chapters the writer recalled the actions of atonement that were depicted in Leviticus 16. Like the initial establishment of the covenant, the practice of atonement under the covenant also involved the offering of blood (Hebrews 9:1-10). The provision for atonement was made in the Law of Moses itself, where it was described as an annual event on the Day of Atonement. The assumption is that year after year there is a need for relationship with God to be restored. Year after year the high priest is to offer animal sacrifices. And year after year the priest sprinkling blood in the sanctuary makes forgiveness effective and tangible.

Yet the writer of Hebrews also recalls that Jeremiah developed the theme of covenant in a new way. Jeremiah spoke of an act that would be definitive rather than repetitive. The prophet told of a new covenant that would not be like the old one, which was repeatedly broken by human unfaithfulness. Rather, it would be a definitive act of divine forgiveness, in which God promises to remember the people’s sins no more (Jeremiah 13:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:16-17).

Hebrews brings together the themes of covenant and atonement by declaring that the promised new covenant, like the old one, is enacted in tangible form—now through the death of Jesus. The action comes from God’s side of the relationship. It is not a gift that people offer to God, but a gift that God offers to people. Through it God aims at transforming human hearts and minds, as promised in the new covenant passage.

The writer of Hebrews has no patience for grace that remains an abstract concept or forgiveness that only floats in the realm of ideas. To transform human hearts and minds is to transform human lives. That is why throughout Hebrews the author says that the self-offering of Jesus is complete, not partial. It is the gift through which God claims people wholly for renewed relationship. Good Friday worship does not repeat Christ’s action. Rather, it brings us back to that singular, pivotal, definitive gift with startling clarity.

Altering the lens, Hebrews then asks readers to think of the openness that Christ’s act creates. Earlier the writer pictured readers as worshipers in a sanctuary—a space that may have features like the sanctuaries in which worshipers gather on Good Friday. The essential structure of Israel’s ancient sanctuary had two parts: an outer court and an inner court, with a curtain separating the two spaces. According to the Pentateuch there was also an open courtyard around the two-part sanctuary. But what is important for Hebrews is simply the inner court and the outer court, with the curtain creating a barrier to the place of divine presence in the inner court. The sense is that God remains hidden. The divine presence is too holy, too overpowering to be encountered by common human beings.

Yet Hebrews says that the curtain has now been opened, but not in the older pattern in which the high priest would enter and exit year after year on the Day of Atonement. Rather, Christ’s definitive act has been to open the curtain and to cross the barrier separating God from human beings in order that others may follow. Hebrews calls this a new and living way, because it is a way that gives new life.

To picture the scenario more vividly, think of people gathering in the narthex of your church with the doors to the sanctuary closed. The people are outside; the altar and pulpit are inside. The people may mingle around in the open space, but the doors create a barrier to the place where bread and wine convey God’s grace in a tangible way. The doors block the sound of proclamation from the hearing of the people.

Hebrews announces that Jesus’ offering of himself—in the flesh—opens the door and removes the barrier to encountering God in a tangible, transformative way. Through the act of opening the doors to the sanctuary and gathering around the cross we give visible expression to what Christ has done.

Christ’s act is a community-forming act. It is striking that Hebrews does not picture isolated individuals coming to Jesus but rather a community gathering in the presence of God. Throughout this section the readers are addressed in the first person plural, as a group. The writer tells this community that what is ongoing is not blood sacrifice, since God’s action in Christ is complete and definitive. Rather, what is ongoing is gathering and keeping the faith. What is ongoing is encouraging others and provoking others to acts of love that continue making tangible the grace that Christ made tangible. The way the writer uses images of Christ opening God’s sanctuary to human beings keeps finding new expression as the worshiping community itself is opened to new forms of service that extend the message of grace beyond the walls in public witness to what Christ has done.


  1. Commentary first published on this site on March 30, 2018.

Alternate Second Reading

Commentary on Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Jennifer T. Kaalund

Hebrews presents a unique picture of Jesus. This sermon describes him as a Son who was the “appointed heir of all things” (1:2). It goes on to state: “When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs” (1:4). In these introductory comments, the writer clearly emphasizes Jesus’ exaltation. The writer also tells us that Jesus has inherited a more excellent name.

Our names are not simply unique identifiers; they also often convey what we do and who we are. As the saying goes, our reputations precede us. Our names come to represent aspects of our character. Our names are more than what we called and answer. In many ways, our names become who we are. So, it should be no surprise that Jesus is a name that is above all names.

Our great high priest

In the fourth chapter, the writer of Hebrews provides us with another title to consider when we think of Jesus. Jesus is presented as a great high priest. In antiquity, high priests functioned as intermediaries. They offered sacrifices for the appeasement of the gods and the sins of the people. They offered intercessions and prayers, pleading the case of the people before God. They stood in the gap between God and the people. Jesus is described as “a great high priest who has passed through the heavens” (4:14). He is a high priest “who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet is without sin.” In Jesus, we have a high priest who is empathetic with our struggles. Jesus’s movement between heaven and earth transformed the role of the priesthood. The lyrics to the song “Lord, we lift your name on high”1 summarize these Jesus’s journeys. “He came from heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross our debt repaid, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky.” Because of Jesus, the boundaries that have separated humanity from God are permeable. We can approach God because of our great high priest.

Our great intercessor

Jesus is both our great high priest and our great intercessor. Not only did Jesus make it possible for us to approach God, but the writer of Hebrew also suggests that we should do so with boldness. “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears” (5:7). Jesus cried out for us, not only so that we can cry out for ourselves but also so that we can cry out for others. Intercession is our opportunity to stand in the gap for others, to bring their needs before God. The writer of Hebrews has encouraged the audience to imitate Jesus as the pioneer and finisher of our faith (12:2). Jesus cried loudly and with tears on our behalf. We, too, should cry out on behalf of others, on behalf of our wounded and broken world. When we approach the throne of grace, we can expect to receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.

Holding fast to the confession of our faith

It is also important to note that this text’s audience is described as experiencing hardship or suffering. In many instances, the sermon encourages them to persevere. Because Jesus is our sympathetic intercessor and compassionate high priest, we should hold tightly to our confession. After suffering and dying, Jesus has been elevated to sit in heavenly places. His example demonstrates that the ability to endure difficult situations results in ultimate salvation. God, as savior, is a title that we associate with our sins. That is, God saves us from our sins. However, the writer of Hebrews clarifies that God is the one who was able to save Jesus from death. Though the death of Jesus is literal death, we may also consider the various forms of death from which God is able and willing to save us. The death of our hopes and dreams, the loss of what once gave us comfort and stability, the end of life as we have known it; we experience all of these losses as a kind of death. God can deliver us from them all.

In a year where we have experienced a great deal of suffering and death, it is likely that we can relate to this community. Our faith may be weary, weak, and shaken. The COVID-19 pandemic unveiled the pandemic of health and wealth inequalities, racism, and sexism. How can believers remain a light in this dark land? We must hold fast to the confession of our faith. The writer of Hebrews clarifies what faith is writing: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). By faith, the ancestors are found acceptable by God and by this same faith we, too, will be made whole and complete, we, too, will rise above our circumstances.

Good Friday reminds us of why we must hold fast to our faith. Even in the face of suffering, there is still light, hope, and salvation on the other side of it. As we look for the resurrection of our Lord, may we recall that the power of the resurrection is also available to us.

In a recent phone call with my sister, she asked how I was doing. I responded, “I’m hanging in there.” She said, “Well, tie a knot and hold on.” Echoing our dad’s words, I was encouraged as she simply reminded me of the importance of perseverance.

The writer of Hebrews similarly encourages his audience and you to remember that in your difficult times, tie a knot and hold on. Hold on to the confession of your faith. The risen Christ is the assurance of this faith. If it is the confession of our faith that makes us Christians, we should consider what it means to be called this name, take on this title? For one, it means that we have inherited a name that is, above all names, a more excellent name.


  1. Rick Founds, “Lord we Lift Your name on High.” Though Founds wrote the worship song it was first recorded by in 1989 by the Maranatha! Singers on the label Maranatha! Music.