Friday, March 29, 2024

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 41

 Subtitle: Seeing the Easter Story in Psalm 41

Psalm 41:5–13 (ESV) 

5My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die, and his name perish?” 
6And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. 
7All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. 
8They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.” 
9Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. 
10But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them! 
11By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. 
12But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. 
13Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. 
        (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)

For those who walked with Jesus and were taught by Him for three years who witnessed Him hanging for life on the cross, there seemed to be no hope. Their dreams were crushed… all those plans of living in glory in Jesus’ new kingdom… were now nothing more than a foggy mist… how could this be happening? 

The Master, the Teacher, the most powerful person they had ever seen… had let Himself be beaten and nailed to a cross… surely, He could have done something to prevent this from happening… He had the power… why didn’t He use it? 

He had healed lame and blind and even raised up a girl who had died, and a young man who was about to buried, and even Lazarus who had been dead for over four days, whose body was starting to decompose. If He was able to do these things, surely, He would have been able to prevent the soldiers from arresting Him. He could have stopped this sham of a trial… but He let it happen.

The religious leaders gloated over their victory… They had accomplished what they had set out to do. They had plotted for a long time asking when, …”when will he die, and his name perish?” Finally, they had succeeded, for them it was accomplished. Jesus their enemy, was dying. He would be buried and His name would be forgotten and their lives would go on... having eliminated this threat to their livelihoods.

But God had a different plan! Jesus would raise again. His death was part of a greater plan! He died to pay a price, the price of sin, and rose to repay us for our sin against Him, but instead of revenge, we are repaid with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and the love of God. Even those religious leaders were given the opportunity for forgiveness.

This battle wasn’t against us, but it was spiritual battle pitting Jesus the Son of God against Satan, the true enemy of God. Satan wanted to destroy the creation of God and turn every one of us against God. In the Garden of Eden, Satan succeeded in leading Adam and Eve into rebellion against God and as a result, we all were born as slaves to sin, unable to free ourselves from its bondage and the penalty of eternal death. 

To free us from this judgement of death, a righteous sacrifice had to be made, a sinless man had to die a sinner’s death. And that was God plan. By Jesus’ death, Satan’s accusations and hold over God’s creation was satisfied. Sin and death lost their grip and power over us. And on the third day, Jesus Christ was raised and Satan couldn't do anything to stop it. Satan’s power was destroyed. 

The scales of judgement were tipped in favor of Jesus Christ. His righteousness and death outweighed the penalty of the sins of all people in the world.

By faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are forgiven of our sin. We can now BOLDly proclaim that those who believe this promise receive this promise and their sin is forgiven, but those who reject this promise remain under the curse and punishment of their sin.

The last two verses tell us that Jesus would be and is raised to glory. Yes, the righteous Son of God will reign as our King in glory forevermore. Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen.

Written by Peter Keyes - March 29, 2024

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