I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, and they are cut off from Your hand. (Psalms 88:4-5)First, I’m on my way back from Oregon tonight and I’m writing this on the airplane. I don’t have time to send this to the editors and wait for it to come back before I have to get it posted in order to go out in the morning. So, for all those who are grammatically astute, I am apologizing in advance. I have seen three new verses this weekend and I am beside myself in wanting to share them with you.
The verses I’d like you to consider are four amazing psalms (one I share almost every weekend, the others I have just seen). Simply ponder them for a moment for me. I believe that these psalms are not simply relaying the experiences of their author, but that they also have a prophetic purpose pointing forward to the future experiences of the Messiah too. (Theologians call these “Messianic Psalms”) But what they reveal, I believe, is life changing.
May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me.
Looking at these as a window into what was transpiring in the heart of Jesus as He hung on the cross for you, I’m asking these questions: Why such desperation here? Doesn’t He know He’ll be resurrected on Sunday? Why the sense of pleading? (For more insight into this please listen to the presentation The Awakening on our sermons page at www.renewedheartministries.com)
Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may smile again before I depart and am no more.
Did you catch that last statement? “Before I depart and am no more.” What does He mean “no more?”
A wicked thing is poured out upon him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again.
NOT RISE UP AGAIN? What is being said about Jesus here? Wasn’t He resurrected?
I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, and they are cut off from Your hand.
Without a doubt I believe with all my heart in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But whether He was resurrected or not, that is not the issue here. My question is was there a time on the Cross where Jesus FELT, regardless of what He may have known intellectually going into the cross, was there a time on the Cross where Jesus FELT utterly forsaken of God, that Sin was so hateful to a holy God that if He went through with saving you and I it would be goodbye to life for Him forever? I have had some very zealous folks argue with me over the years about whether or not Jesus died the second death or the first death in redeeming us from our sins. And I want to be very clear. I’m not writing this to argue that point at all. My question is which death did Jesus FEEL like He was dying? One where He would be remembered and resurrected in two more days? Or was there a point on the cross, even if for only a small period of time, where Jesus FELT that if He gave His life for you and me, it would be at an eternal price to Himself? I believe the answer according to these psalms is a resounding YES!
Think of this dear reader. What does that mean about your value or worth to the God of this universe? What does this mean about how much He must love you? That the God of this universe would look at all the glories of Heaven, the reuniting embrace with His Father, and all the adoration of the angels, and still say, “Heaven is not a place that I desire to be if YOU cannot be there with me.” That God would decide, when faced with either saving Himself at your eternal ruin, or saving YOU at His own eternal ruin, that He would, out of deep inestimable love, decide to save YOU in utter abandonment of Himself.
I’d like you to ponder these thoughts this week. You are the object of the radical, self-sacrificial, selfless, other-centered, love of your God! He will stop at nothing to make sure you are in the kingdom. You mean more to Him than you could possible understand. Just as the woman at the well discovered, He knows everything there is possibly to know about you and He is looking at you today saying, “The gift is still on table”
Won’t you receive it? Won’t you embrace this radical kind of love? Not just as a the gift that it is from Him to you, but also as the way you want to live this life He is giving you?
I wish you God’s best this week.
Love like the sun. Love like the rain. And go enlarge the kingdom.