January 21, 2018

The Messiah Endured Evil for Us

Psalm 69:1-21

One of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar . . . and offered it to Jesus to drink.

—  Matthew 27:48

Psalm 69 contains a wealth of descriptions that Jesus himself experienced. For example, “Zeal for your house consumes me” describes Jesus’ concern for the temple (John 2:13-17). Similarly the references about scorn and mockery and vinegar to drink relate closely to Jesus’ experience on the cross. This is just a small sampling of the many sufferings Jesus endured while he lived and taught among us on this earth. These and other verses weave a descriptive mosaic portraying the events of Jesus’ life.

In some ways we may feel that our experiences in life are similar to the descriptions here. We call out to God for help, and in specific struggles it can be difficult to see God’s providence. We can see God working best when we look back over the big picture of our life.

Because of Jesus, though, we can be assured that there is no human experience, no matter how negative or gruesome, that Jesus did not encounter. Remember that his cross, the instrument of excruciating capital punishment, has become the emblem of Christianity.

From Jesus’ sufferings we learn that there is no human struggle that we have to undergo alone. Jesus promises to be with us always, whatever happens. He walks alongside us every step of the way.

We confess, Lord Jesus, that when negative events occur in our lives, we can feel far away from you. Please assure us of your presence and show yourself in every event of our lives. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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