READ : Psalm 118
I shall not die, but I shall live . . . (v. 17)
On the night that he was betrayed Jesus gathered with his disciples around the Passover Table and prayed six prayers that are recorded for us in Psalms 113-118. The last of the six is the most soaring and penetrating of all. It is chilling to imagine that Jesus spoke these words just hours before he was handed over to Pilate and the Chief Priests, and one short night away from the Cross; I shall not die, but I shall live. . . . The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, was accomplished according to the definite foreknowledge and plan of God.
Jesus Christ accomplished all of this on our behalf and we now correspondingly share both in his death and in his life. Jesus Christ’s life is our life and we can now live fully in him. I vividly remember going with my father to visit his dying brother. Riddled with cancer and stripped of strength, he was completely discouraged. I can still see my father tenderly leaning over to kiss his brother’s cheek, saying, “Hey, Bubba, it ain’t no shame to die! But promise me you will live every minute until you do!” With the encouragement of this psalm we can not only live until we die, but afterwards too!
Give us grace to live the Christ life, O God!