Friday, February 23, 2007

Deuteronomy 7:12-16; Psalm 31; Titus 2:1-15; John 1:35-42

I chose Psalm 31 for my devotional. I have always felt that the psalms showed the very human side of David. Many of the psalms fluctuate between elation and terrible sadness and fear. This psalm is no different. However, what drew me to Psalm 31 is that this was the psalm that Jesus was thinking of when he died on the cross. Verse 5 (in the New International Version) is “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (or in other versions “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit”).

This psalm is an anguished cry for delivery from enemies. It was certainly a fitting prayer that Jesus prayed as he gave up his life. It’s an easy thing to feel cut off from God. But Jesus did not feel cut off. He gave up his life knowing that God was there for him. Jesus not only gave up his life but went through unimaginable horrors – the scourging and everything that happened that day. And he did that without giving up the belief that God was there. Jesus knew that he had to go through those things in order to get to the end game – God’s kingdom.

How can we – the regular Joe – get to that point? How can our faith carry us to get through our trials? One way is to stay focused on God’s goodness, on God’s promise of deliverance. I certainly can only guess at what was going on in Jesus’ tortured mind that day. But I think he stayed focused. I would think that would be the only way he could get through that day. Even though he was holy he was human, and he was being crucified by humans. There was nothing divine about how he was crucified. I think he stayed totally focused on God’s kingdom – on what he had been sent to earth to do. His crucifixion was the main event. Everything he had been teaching about and everything that would live through the ages were leading to this event.

One of the many things we can glean from Jesus’ dealing with his own crucifixion is to focus on God’s goodness. When all seems lost, when we are despondent, instead of yielding to those feelings of hopelessness, keep your eyes and your mind on God because he will always lead you home.

Vicki Nelson

No comments: