The Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka (raised hand) and his wife, Francine Ilunga Mpanga Mufuk, join members of a rural community to inaugurate a new water tower made possible by the United Methodist Church in Cote d’Ivoire and UMCOR, 2020.


A devotion for Good Friday

By Jean Claude Masuka Maleka and Francine Ilunga Mpanga Mufuk

April 2, 2021 | ABIDJAN, CÔTE D’IVOIRE

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:3-5 (KJV)

Today the world is looking for healing from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery offered by Jesus Christ can be both physical and spiritual. This Scripture in Isaiah brings us near to the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. God sent him to save the whole world. The passage describes how he was despised and rejected by all men. He suffered too much, and he was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.

The experience of Jesus’s pain shows how Jesus went through many challenges. He knows what pain and suffering are all about. Jesus knows how to help too. Each one of us has a part in the flagellation which he received by our sins. We wounded him, for sure; yet, it is also true that with his stripes, we are healed.

Francine Ilunga Mpanga Mafuk (right), DRC missionary to Cote d’Ivoire, meets with a young woman for counseling. PHOTO: JEAN CLAUDE MAZUKA MALEKA

In the context of the passage, the suffering and the pain of Jesus become our salvation and blessings. He was pierced for our sins. The life of Jesus is the unique way God wanted to save humanity from sin. Jesus may not always heal you physically, but he will provide spiritual healing. God treats the disease of sin, and no human physician can deal with it. Jesus Christ turned rejection into forgiveness. Whoever believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Jesus died because of our transgressions and iniquities. He was crushed under the enormous weight of the accumulated evil of the whole world. When we trust the Lord Jesus, and by grace, we are healed through faith in him.

Prayer: Heavenly God, we give you our lives and our day. We need your healing in all aspects of our lives. Visit us throughout the day so that we may feel your presence. May your protection be upon us in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

The Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka began missionary service with Global Ministries in the 1990s as a Missioner of Hope. He and Francine Ilunga Mpanga Mufuk, his wife, are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and currently serve in Côte d’Ivoire. Jean Claude is an evangelist, church planter, and mentor for local pastors. Francine’s work supports marginalized girls and children who are overwhelmed by conditions of poverty, such as early marriage, lack of education, and domestic violence.