Wednesday, December 13, 2017

his word becomes your own

The Word for today:
Psalm 31
mark this: Psalm 31:5
Into your hands I commit my spirit.
and this: Luke 23:46
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.
and this: Acts 7:59
And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
We're going to get a little spooky today, so if you can't stand to be spooked, then sayonara for now, and we'll see you tomorrow…
 Perhaps spooky isn't the right word. Maybe "transcendent" is the word for what we encounter in Psalm 31.
We know that Jesus took your place on the cross. But did you know that you can take his place--that you can see through his eyes?
You can, when you realize that Psalm 31 is what went through the mind of Jesus on the cross:
Into your hands I commit my spirit…
Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends-- those who see me on the street flee from me.  I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life…
My times are in your hand.
(You can turn to Psalm 22 and see even more of what Jesus saw from the cross.)
God has enabled us to think about things the way he does, by giving us the mind of Christ (1). He's enabled us to sense and feel things like he does, by giving us his Spirit. And by giving us Scripture, God has enabled us to see through his eyes.
Conversely, the incarnation (that's how theologians refer to what we call "Christmas") enabled God to see from our perspective.  There's not a situation we face that he hasn't seen with our very own eyes:
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
These exercises in the transcendent should help you to understand why the Psalms can often be seen from multiple points of view:
You can see them through the immediate author's eyes--in this case, King David.
You can see them through the prophetic eyes of the Author of Scripture -- the Holy Spirit -- who turns our eyes to the cross.
You can see them through the eyes of the Author of our Salvation (2)--Jesus--who speaks from the cross.
And as you take up what Jesus called your own "cross" in order to follow him (3), his Word will write itself across the story of your own life, as well.
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:16; (2) Hebrews 2:10; (3) Mark 8:34

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