post by Lisa Buffum, May 18, 2023
Begin by reading Psalm 31 on Biblegateway.com or in your own Bible.
It is always significant to recognize the words of Jesus in a psalm. In verse 5 of this psalm, we see words Jesus spoke on the cross and attributed as His final words: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46 – Yes, I recommend you go read it right now.)
This is a psalm of deliverance. At that moment, Jesus was delivered from life to death. He left his body of agony and entered back from where He had come . . . back into the presence of God, His Father. But, why would this moment in time call this particular psalm to Jesus’ mind? So much so, that He quoted it in His final words on the cross?
Let’s look at the psalm.
If ever anyone was afflicted and anguished, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone might have felt like he had been given into the hands of his enemies, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone was in distress, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone’s bones had grown weak, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone felt held in utter contempt of his neighbors, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone felt an object of dread to his closest friends, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone felt forgotten and broken, it was Jesus in this moment.
If ever anyone felt others had conspired against him and plotted to take his life, it was Jesus in this moment.
And, if the psalm ended there, the connection would make good sense. Jesus wanted us to know He understands our humanity, frailty, and brokenness. But, the psalm doesn’t end there.
The Jewish people who heard Jesus’ last words on the cross knew this psalm by memory and the words likely called the entire psalm to mind – how cool is that?! They would have known the significance of how this psalm concludes.
Jesus trusted God all the way to death on a cross. As He suffered at the hands of many who denied and betrayed Him, He knew God would deliver Him. He knew God’s unfailing love. He knew the abundance of good things that the Father had stored up for Him.
And we can, too. If we want to be a disciple, we must look solely towards the One whom we profess to follow as Christians. Being Jesus’ disciple means becoming more and more like Him every day. At times, we are required to take up our cross to follow Jesus obediently. (Luke 9:23) It is not promised to be easy. But, we know that the One who calls us is faithful. He is to be trusted. He will deliver with unfailing love. And, He has an abundance stored up for us that we cannot even imagine.
Have hope in the Lord! Like Jesus, be strong and take heart – not for our own sake or in our own strength, but for and in His. Amen.
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com
PS – Discerning a new call from God? Here’s a course that might help: Vocation Bible School for Adults. It begins May 22.
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Lisa is the Director of Online Education for the Institute for Discipleship, overseeing the ministries of BeADisciple.com. Lisa completed a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, in May of 2006.
She is the mother of three children, and currently, “Mimi” to four grandbabies. Lisa teaches the instructor training course, Lay Servants as Christian Transformational Leaders, and other courses as needed, and provides technical assistance for instructors and learners for every IFD course.