The Lent experiment, part 38

Today: Psalm 38.

I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.’ (Ps. 38:8).

Today’s Psalm is a tough one. David is suffering intensly from some kind of disease, and what makes his suffering worse is that he believes God gave him this sickness because of the sin he committed. So he is suffering, not only physically (v. 3), but spiritually (v. 4) and emotionally (v. 6, 8) as well. He feels all alone, because even his closest friend have abandoned him (v. 11).

It seems that this Psalm is one big cry of despair. There seems to no hope whatsoever…

Until the very last sentence. There we find a whisper of trust after all: ‘Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.'(v. 22). 

David calls God his ‘Lord and Savior‘. (Probably without knowing) David is crying out for the Messiah who was to come in the person of Jesus. The name Jesus litteraly means ‘the Lord saves‘. Because this what he came to earth for, to save his people from their sins, from their guilt and shame, from their hopelessness, even from their deseases. He saved us through his suffering.

The sufferings described in Psalm 38 seem to be an eye witness account of the sufferings of Jesus on the cross:

‘My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. (v. 7-8)

‘My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie.’ (v. 11-12)

‘Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous. Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good.’ (v. 19-20)

There’s only one big difference between David’s suffering and Jesus’ suffering. David suffered it because of his own sin, Jesus never sinned but chose to suffer all this because of our sin.  

‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ (2 Cor. 5:21)

‘For Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.’ (1 Pt. 3:18)

What a mystery. Christ suffered more than anyone ever will. Not only physically (death by crucifixion is known for its ultimate pain), but also emotionally (being abandoned even by his closest friends) and spiritually (being cut off from his Father in heaven). And he suffered it on our behalf. In our place. So that we no longer would have to suffer for our sins. So that our guilt and shame would no longer seperate us from God.

What love is this…

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we stand in awe of you. As we are anticipating Good Friday, we remember that you willingly chose to suffer more than any of us will ever suffer. You suffered for us. So that we can be forgiven, so that we can be healed. So that nothing will ever separate us from your love. We worship you! Yes!

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