Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Deliver and Save

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Deliver and Save

Article excerpt

Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56

PASSION SUNDAY TELLS the story of Jesus' suffering and death. Psalm 31 I reflects the story of Jesus' suffering, but at the same time is a story we may tell about i our own lives.

The psalmist recites for God, with verve and candor, the trouble to be faced (31: 9-13). As is usual in laments, the poem first details suffering at the hands of adversaries. Second, it expresses confidence in God, fully expectant that God is able to intervene in the trouble (14-15). Third, the psalmist petitions vigorously: "deliver, let your face shine, save" (verses 15-16). The two big verbs--deliver and save--point to God's steadfast love as the remedy to all trouble.

No doubt the sequence of candor, confidence, and petition is the recurring practice of our faith. Nor is there doubt that this is an effective way of telling the story of Jesus' own suffering and death:

Candor: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34) describes for God the abandonment experienced in the suffering. …

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