the prospect of posterity

Salvator Mundi – Savior of the World, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)

Psalm 22:25-31

For Sunday, May 10, 2009
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B

What a stark reversal between the beginning of this Psalm and its end. It goes from, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (v. 1) to “Posterity will serve him . . . they will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn” (vv. 30-31). What accounts for this dramatic about- face?

The answer is the cross, on which Jesus himself quoted verse 1 of this Psalm, and then 3 days later secured the posterity in view at this Psalm’s end.

The poor will eat and be satisfied (v. 26)” How painful it is to have insufficient food, or even to have been in relationship with those who have been in this circumstance. Russian pastors have confided in me that they’ve fasted for a week at a time so that their kids could get enough to eat. How grateful I have become for every meal which God puts before me. Physical hunger is serving here as a simile for spiritual hunger. Are you hungry spiritually? Has the latest Tony Robbins series left you less than fully transformed? Maybe what you need is something deeper, like the forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption of the gospel.

Psalm 22 goes on to say that “all the ends of the earth will turn to the Lord.” I experienced a turning to the Lord of people in Siberia. We like to say of this part of Russia, “It’s not the end of the earth, but you can see it from there.” That the Psalm then mentions “all the families of the nations” does not mean that every family on the planet will be saved but rather that no tribe that has ever existed will fail to be represented. There will be Huron Indians worshipping together with Wisconsin Cheeseheads. This is one party I’m glad I won’t miss.

As believers we live with the prospect of posterity. Praise be to God.


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