As Psalm 134 closes our time in the Psalms of Ascents, we can note the spiritual journey we have traveled. Derek Kidner points out in his commentary that "The Songs of Ascents, which began in the alien surroundings of Meschech and Kedar (Ps. 120), end fittingly on the note of serving God 'day and night within his temple'." 1 Chronicles 9:33 says that the temple singers were on duty both day and night, and while the original context of Psalm 134 may have been for the temple priests, we are all invited to participate with Christ in worship in the spirit of endless song. As we anticipate the Paschal Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday, let us worship with anticipation of God's blessing. (Daniel Snoke)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give Him thanks and praise!
CONFESSION OF FAITH
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
MEDITATION | Hebrews 2:10–13
"For it was fitting that he [Christ], for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
“I will put my trust in him.”
SING Psalm 134 (to the tune of the Doxology)
[Original lyrics by Lambertus J. Lamberts (1928), edited by Daniel J Snoke (2022)]
Come bless the LORD with one accord
You faithful servants of the LORD
Who in his house do stand by night
And praise him there with all your might
Lift up your hands and bless his name
From Zion may his blessings reign
The LORD who heav’n and earth has made
Bless you and keep you all your days
Read: Psalm 22
2nd Reading: Matthew 27:27-56
Psalm 22 is one of the most remarkable passages of the Bible. It is attributed to David and describes great anguish that he experienced through some particular trial. But the connection of Psalm 22 to the crucifixion of Jesus is breathtaking. All of the Gospel writers reference Psalm 22. In the Matthew's Gospel, there are many examples of overlap, two instances in which Psalm 22 appears to be quoted, and then the words of Psalm 22:1 are given as some of the last words of Jesus before his death.
(Matt 27:46, Psalm 22:1) "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Rather than point out each reference in Psalm 22, it is better to spend some time with the text yourself. Read Psalm 22. Then Read Matthew 27:27-56 and other gospel accounts of the resurrection. Look at the connections for yourself.
(Psalm 22:16) "They have pierced my hands and feet."
What I find to be really stirring about Psalm 22 is that not just the textural overlap with the accounts of the crucifixion. What makes Psalm 22 so unique is that it is written in the first person and describes the crucifixion from the point of view of Jesus. Written hundreds of years before the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus, Psalm 22 provides words of Scripture for Jesus to pray on the cross. And it provides the church with a window into that terrible experience. The beatings. The mocking. The sense of abandonment. On the cross Jesus took the just anger of God for the sins of his people onto himself. Jesus - in a sense- became sin for us that we could become righteous (2 Cor. 5:21.)
This past week we have been expressing sorrows and rehearsing thankfulness.
In the cross, we see that Jesus entered into the deepest sorrow imaginable.
In the cross, we see the cost of our forgiveness which is given freely. The greatest gift imaginable and the source for richest thanksgiving.
Though you may be familiar with this story, and with this psalm, let's ask God to make it fresh and new in our experience.
Because Christ suffered sins can be forgiven.
Because Jesus endured the cross, we can be brought home to God's family.
Because Jesus was abandoned, mocked, forsaken and killed, we have the promise of eternal life.
Let's thank God together for his love, shown to us on the cross.
John 19 provides another account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Read this account and look for similar connections to Psalm 22.
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Many Christians throughout history have found it helpful to dedicate extra time for prayer, fasting, singing, and works of mercy during the week before Easter Sunday. As you anticipate remembering the saving work of Christ this weekend, here are a few ways you might do that:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.