“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV
Life is a journey of many steps, through a multitude of circumstances, trials, struggles dangers and ultimately culminates in death. Death is a reality that we all will face, unless the Lord comes soon. As I have gotten older, and more reflective on all that I have experienced, I can see the vague contours of the face of death more clearly with each step.
I stopped in Psalm 23 this morning, as it is one of the trio of psalms that foreshadow the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. As I read, I was reminded once again of the comfort I have in Jesus, knowing that He has made a way for me beyond all the striving of this present time. For those who believe, death has lost its sting, it is but a shadow, as the believer has eternal life in Christ.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?””
I Corinthians 15:53-55 NKJV
I know that one day when this tired old body finally gives up, I will be made new for all eternity.
On this Saturday before Resurrection Sunday, I am reflecting on the death of Jesus. Somewhere between Wednesday and Friday, He went to the cross and died for our sins. We are not completely sure when exactly this happened, but we have settled on Friday.
As I read Psalm 23, I felt the familiar comfort of the Lord, as David is reflecting on his life as a man after God’s heart. He is looking back to that shepherd boy, so long ago, who came to understand the faithfulness of God. For we in the New Testament era, we can take comfort in knowing that He continues to be faithful, even beyond the end of our lives.
I don’t think the disciples were considering this psalm, or anything else Jesus had shared with them. They were likely caught up in the moment, filled with fear and sadness. I am sure it was a long and dark day for the disciples and the other followers of Jesus, as they had lost their leader. They were in hiding, fearing death. Little did they know that death had been defeated, and was now but a shadow.
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
I Corinthians 15:20-26 NKJV
Today will likely be a busy day for the body of Christ, as we will be about the passing of candy and Tammuz eggs, as we celebrate our hybrid holiday with a nod to paganism. We will enjoy the weather, and run errands, and generally spend little time reflecting on Jesus. It is said that Jesus descended into Tartarus to proclaim victory to the disobedient, captive, fallen angels.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”
I Peter 3:18-20 NKJV
He had defeated sin and death.
Brothers and sisters, take some time today to consider Jesus and reflect on the morning to come. Consider that through Jesus’ death has been defeated. Those who have gone before us in heaven will be waiting for us, thanks be to God and His glorious gift.
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place
But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!