Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus, the Light of the World +
Our final Introit before we enter the season of Lent throws us to Good Friday, to the end of Lent. The introit consists of selections from Psalm 31, but I would like to key in on verse 5, which reads: "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God."
Here at Trinity we generally read our Psalms "half verse by half verse" - that is, I'll read the first part (Into Your hand I commit my spirit) and the congregation will respond with the second part (You have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God). This works because most verses for the Psalms are built off of two ideas - there's an A part and a B part. "The Lord is my shepherd"... which means "I shall not want." Part of the art of Hebrew poetry is in putting those two phrases together.
What that means, though, is that the Psalms almost work like common phrases, or the punch line to well known jokes. "If you can't stand the heat..." ... "then get out of the kitchen." "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "To get to the other side." The point is that if you say the first part of the Psalm, other people should be able to finish off the phrase.
And then we have the last thing that Jesus says upon the Cross. Luke records Jesus saying, "Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit." Jesus dying quotes Psalm 31:5... and why? Because since Jesus dies on the cross, we are able to respond, "You have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God."
It is there on the Cross where God redeems us. It is there on the Cross where God shows that He has remained faithful to us, though we have often sinned and gone astray. It is there on the Cross where our sin is defeated and our life is won.
Lent can be an intense season, but remember what it is. It isn't primarily as season about how we suffer or how we give something up - rather it is the season where we see God's faithfulness to us played out in the life and death (and resurrection) of Jesus Christ our Lord.
And that same Jesus Christ is faithful to you, today, this week, and even unto the life of the world to come. Have a great week in Him.