April 4, 2009 - Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Psalm 22

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 7:1-25; St. Mark 16:1-20

But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me; My Strength, hasten to help Me! Save Me from the lion's mouth and from the horns of the wild oxen!” (Psalm 22:19, 21)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. Have you ever noticed that when it clouds up in your life and things get bad, it feels like God is far away? When you fail and those who hate you succeed, doesn’t it make you wonder if the Lord has taken the day off? Where’s the Lord of Heaven and earth when you feel the loneliness of rejection from your friends?

But the Lord isn’t going to abandon you. He’s not going to turn His back on you. He’s not going to forsake you. He’s never far from you--not after Good Friday. Jesus makes sure of that!

We learned that lesson yesterday, when Jesus quoted today’s Psalm, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” Jesus was forsaken by God so that we, even in the midst of all our troubles, would always have God with us and near us.

This makes today a good day to give up thinking the way the world thinks. The world thinks that when things go well for you, it must be because God loves you. When things go bad, it’s because God must hate you. You get sick, so maybe God is mad at you. You get well--it must be because God loves you again.

Fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of your life. Watch His Cross. Go through your days with His sufferings and death in mind. He is the beloved Son of God, yet He suffered at the hands of others. He lived a perfect life, but His life was still full of hardships and trials. He cared only for others, and He was mocked and betrayed by those around Him.

Yet, through all of the pain and suffering that He endured for your salvation, Jesus knew without a doubt that God was going to save Him. He knew for certain that God was going to be good to Him, going to be His God and rescue Him from all His enemies.

You know that too, don’t you? In Christ, you have been saved from all who would harm you. You have been redeemed from the world that mocks you. You have been bought back from the sins that would destroy you. And true comfort is now yours. Because He was for you.

In these dark days, King David’s psalm gives you the most excellent prayer for entering into holy week: Don’t be far from me, God, be near me. Trouble is near.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and thus begins Holy Week, See how near to you God is this week. He takes upon Himself the deepest and the darkest that is in you, and gives to you His life and salvation. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.