Near the end of WW2 a small scrap of paper was smuggled out of the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Nazi prison cell. He had been imprisoned for his participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler and was executed weeks before the end of the war. On the scrap of paper, Bonhoeffer had scratched these words: “Only the suffering God can help.”

Holy Week takes us on a journey with Jesus from the elation of Palm Sunday, when the crowds proclaimed him their King, through a meal shared in love with friends, through loneliness and agony in a garden of tears, and a travesty of a terrible miscarriage of justice, to the abandonment and humiliation of death on a cross.

Jesus is not a remote God, removed from our experience. His experience echoes the suffering of humanity always and everywhere. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.

And after this, the Resurrection!

Contributed by Rosamond McDowell, St Mary with St Alban

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