Holy Wednesday (2015)

We know this week – Holy Week – is about our salvation. God does His part of the equation which brings about our salvation. God deals with sin, separation, alienation, isolation, and death, not to mention also dealing with Satan and Hades itself.

“This is what the Scriptures bring (to our attention) and remind us of, as has frequently been shown by us in sound expositions above, namely, that God is not one who requites evil, but He sets aright evil: the former is the characteristic of evil people, while the latter is characteristic of a father. (Scripture) shows Him as if He is bringing good and evil by way of requital, whereas His purpose is not in fact this, but to instill in us love and awe, so that by the latter we might make our conduct chaste, while, by means of love, we might grow in excellency of understanding.

If this were not the case, what resemblance does Christ’s coming have with the deeds of the generations which were prior to it? Does this immense compassion seem to you to be a retribution for those evil deeds? Tell me, if God is someone who requites (evil), and He does what He does by means of requital, what commensurate requital do you see here, O man? Show me.

So let us not attribute to God’s actions and His dealings with us any idea of requital. Rather, (we should speak of) fatherly provision, a wise dispensation, a perfect will which is concerned with our good, and complete love. If it is a case of love, then it is not one of requital, and if it is a case of requital, then it is not one of love. Love, when it operates, is not concerned with the requiting of former things by means of its own good deeds or correction; rather, it looks to what is most advantageous in the future: it examines what is to come, and not things that are past.”   (St. Isaac of Nineveh – 7th Century, THE SECOND PART, p 170)

God’s plan to triumph over evil involves not the destruction of earth, not the death of all sinners, not punishment for all who rebel against His love, but instead involves His own death on the cross. God takes upon Himself the sin of the world for God is love and He continues to act toward us according to His own nature. This is why Holy Week should bring us to compete humility and gratitude, and repentance for rebelling against such a good, merciful and loving Creator.