A Preview of Easter

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Psalm 22:22-31

How can we account for the dramatic change in the mood of this psalm between our readings of yesterday and today, as the themes move from suffering and defeat to victory and joy?

If the first verses relate to the events of the cross, it seems reasonable to view today’s reading in the light of the resurrection of Jesus, his ascension and Pentecost. From this perspective these verses are a celebration of Easter and all that followed this pivotal event in history. Verse 24 affirms that God answered Jesus’ prayer for deliverance. However, God did not do this by saving him from the tragedy of the cross, but through a far greater event, resurrection to life, power and authority, so that God’s great purposes of love and grace to all humanity could be accomplished.

Note the wide impact of God’s grace in Christ. Poor and rich are included; the ends of the earth and all the families of the nations are embraced in God’s love and in response worship him. There is a hint of eternity, “may your hearts live forever” (v. 26), as well as a perspective of God’s continuing grace over time as future generations are told about him and people yet unborn learn of him.

PRAYER

Thank you for Jesus Christ, for his life, death and resurrection, and for your purposes of love and grace that extend over time and place, and also to me. Amen.