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"The reality of human slavery, violent oppression of the poor and injustice stirs up difficult questions about the meaning in life."

Reflections for Holy Week

Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak on two campuses in Green Bay, Wisconsin where I was engaged in several in-depth conversations with atheist and agnostic students who wanted to know, “If God exists, how can evil and suffering be present in our world?”

The reality of human slavery, violent oppression of the poor and injustice stirs up difficult questions about God and meaning in life, and I am grateful for these kinds of opportunities to engage with others about the goodness of God, our own fallenness, forgiveness through the cross and the redemption of Christ’s resurrection.

This Holy Week is a good time to reflect on the fact that Christ came to set all free. Isaiah 42:1-4 states it well:

1Behold My servant, whom I uphold,

    My chosen, in whom My soul delights;

I have put My Spirit upon Him;

    He will bring forth justice to the nations.

2 He will not cry aloud or lift up His voice,

    or make it heard in the street;

3 a bruised reed He will not break,

    and a faintly burning wick He will not quench;

    He will faithfully bring forth justice.

4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged

    till He has established justice in the earth;

    and the coastlands wait for His law.

We are told in this passage to “Behold.” Behold means to see and consider. See Him Who gave His life for us. Consider the fact that He has come to make all things right. Remember that He will establish justice in the earth.

Often we look at the world around us and wonder, “Where is God in all of the suffering?” I believe that our answer comes in the cross; the cross that Jesus bore to take away the sin of the world. Luke 4:18 states that “He came to set the captives free.” We were captive to sin, and He set us free.

My new atheist friends in Wisconsin were challenged to consider Christ. I hope as they continue to search and ask questions that they will see what it is that the cross has accomplished for them…opportunity to be free.

Though I am fallen, Christ has lifted me up. Though I run to other things to bring satisfaction, He is the only one Who fulfills. Though I get discouraged, He offers hope. And all of this is true because of the cross and the resurrection. What an encouraging reality, particularly during this Easter season.

We are free!

Libby Swenson