Normally this portion of the blog would be dedicated to talk about what comes before and after the message in the sermon on Sunday, and it is, and kind of isn’t, the case for this post.
Psalm 23 was the subject of the message where we talked about Saint Anthony and the early Christian gesture of the cross and how we can carry that with us all the time as a reminder of being victorious with Jesus.
Here’s a great picture of that gesture by some fantastic people in our congregation:
What we often don’t know is that Psalm 23 is sandwiched between two other Psalms that detail Christ pretty extensively. Here’s what I mean:
3 Views of Christ
- Cross = Psalm 22 & “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11
- Crook = Psalm 23 & “Great Shepherd” in Hebrews 13:20
- Crown = Psalm 24 & “Chief Shepherd” in 1 Peter 5:4
Psalm 22 is the famed Psalm where we find the gospel cry: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Most often, that is quoted as a cry of dereliction from the cross, depicted as God turning a blind eye to the sacrifice of His Son. But that’s wrong. Psalm 22 is a victory song of David, a helpful reminder that in the midst of oppression we will be delivered. Jesus knew of His deliverance and sang this from the Cross. All formalities aside, Psalm 22 shows us a powerful depiction of the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd in Psalm 22
Jesus is the good shepherd that “lays down His life for His sheep.” (John 10:11) This same type of sacrificial behavior is shown in Psalm 22, that God is the rescuer who comes quickly to the “aid of His people,” (Ps 22:19), and dies at the right time for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). While the death isn’t explicitly implied in the Psalm, it is what is demonstrated in Matthew 27:46, and how Jesus delivers that cry from the Cross, and we see that act of selfless behavior and love (sacrifice), in how Christ rescues humanity.
In this passage, God is called “The Shepherd,” (Ps. 23:1) leading His “flock” to elements of prosperity in life and guiding and protecting them in the midst of the adversities of life (the evident passing through dark times). It reminds us of the peace and victory we have in Christ and His mercies from the Cross.
The Great Shepherd in Psalm 23
Jesus is the “great shepherd,” (Heb. 13:20) who solidifies our place in eternity, by the blood of His covenant, “that equips us for every good work so that we may do His Will,” further showing us the possibilities of prosperity in life, as Jesus has gone above and beyond in guiding us through the adversities in life through His work on the Cross.
What does a King wear? A Crown! An object of glory and status, one that shows its’ relation to its’ Kingdom inhabitants, that they’re guided, loved, protected, and held in the deepest regard and respect. A loving King knows that the “fullness of their land” (Ps. 24:1) and all of its’ inhabitants is something to be cherished. But what happens when a King is off battling? Or handling foreign affairs? The Kingdom is often in disrepair and awaits its’ King’s arrival…
The Chief Shepherd in Psalm 24
1 Peter 5:4 says that we will “receive the unfading crown of glory,” when Christ appears, completing the long-waiting hope of Christ’s return where we puts all wrongs to right and creates order in a damaged and broken world, and finally unites Heaven and Earth. Jesus shows us the power of His faithfulness to His land and His people in how He treats us when He returns.