In this video the manuscript in the background shows the Isaiah 53 portion of the Dead Sea scrolls.
In Verse 7 the phrase “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter” recalls images of Abraham preparing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. When Isaac asks Abraham about the lamb, Abraham responds: “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” Often we read the promise, “The Lord will Provide” and we forget about Abraham’s emotional turmoil in sacrificing his only son. In the same way, it is easy through our annual repetition to lose an appreciation for the emotional pain of the crucifixion.
Elsewhere in Scripture we see a glimpse of the Father’s pain in losing His Son.
2 Samuel 18:33 describes David’s pain in losing his son Absalom: “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!" While human sorrow represents only an appearance of the likeness of divine anguish, Samuel describes David as a man after God’s own heart.
Through the musical arrangement of David’s lamentation in this piece, we perceive a sound of the song of Triune sorrow, when the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God is betrayed, scourged, pierced, and hung on a tree.
The musical piece "When David Heard" by Eric Whitacre has been paired with excerpts from The Passion of the Christ which also serve to illustrate our gospel readings from this evening. I believe that in many ways, we have become numb to the meaning of the Cross as a symbol of scorn, suffering, and separation. We see it on battle shields, golden necklaces, and bumper stickers. Our hearts have grown calloused to its significance. My prayer for this piece comes from Deuteronomy 30 verse 6, “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
They who have been forgiven much, love much.