Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Cross, Shepherd, & Crown" -- Stained Glass Panels, Faith Community Lutheran Academy
The Word for today:
Psalm 23, 24
Psalms 22, 23, and 24 are best seen as a triptych--a continuous painting displayed across three panels (1). Together, they depict the past, present, and future of our eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Psalm 22 is the holiest ground in scripture, a too-vivid picture of the day Jesus died. What is most striking is that it is the only picture of the cross from Jesus' point of view. It is shrouded in darkness until verse 22, where the resurrection is indicated by a shift in tense--a reference to the future and a ray of hope:
I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Now note the Psalm's last words: He has done it. It is finished! (cf. John 19:30)
Psalm 23 is a picture of the believer's new life, which Christ purchased in Psalm 22:
identified (baptized) in the still waters of death with Christ;
born again (he restores my soul);
led (v. 2, 3);
sealed, indwelt, and anointed by the Holy Spirit (v.5);
the fruit of the Spirit (paths of righteousness);
filled to overflowing with the Spirit (v. 5);
the faithful discipline and guidance (rod and staff) of the Father;
eternal life in the house of the Lord.
Psalm 24 begins where Psalm 23 left off--in the house of the LORD.
The suffering servant of Psalm 22, who is the shepherd of Psalm 23, is revealed as the eternal King of glory, who has restored his image and likeness (see Gen 1:26) in us:
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. (v. 3-6)
Now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)
(1) see yesterday's introductory article

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