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Blessed is the Man…

Blessed is the Man…

Submitted by: Gordon Gooderham

Psalm 1.

Stunned by the events of the preceding seventy hours, the Eleven and friends were huddled in a room in Jerusalem. The arrest, trial, conviction, torture and crucifixion of their Master was devastating, but now all was changed by the sightings of Jesus alive! The women, then Peter, and now Cleopas and friend had all seen him. Suddenly Jesus stood before them all, waved his hands, stamped his feet, enjoyed a fish fillet, and said, “All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.” (Lk. 24:44)

The Psalms of Israel are the Prayer Book of the Hebrews and the Church, and Jesus. In the mystery of God’s workings, the cries and anguish, the praise and petitions of David and others, became the prayers of Jesus. Through them he expressed the highest and richest of human praise, and the lowest and harshest of human anger. For he was tempted in every way that man is tempted, yet he was without sin. (Heb. 4:15)

Consider Psalm 1 – “Blessed is the man”, not the Hebrew word for mankind (adamah), but the gender specific “male” (ish), as ishali is female. (Gen. 2:24,25)
And who does “the man” refer to, at the commencement of the Psalms, but our Lord Jesus. He never walked, or stood, or sat in agreement with the ungodly, sinners or mockers. But he did delight in the Law of the Lord.

Yet, in his last hours he hung out with the ungodly, sinners, and mockers. Stretched between two criminals, lawless robbers, “who heaped insults on him” (Mark 15:32), Jesus prayed, he provided, he promised, but he didn’t threaten or curse. Rather, he spoke words of forgiveness to those who executed him, and to one who mocked him. From “scoffing rude”, one thief repented and asked to be remembered in Jesus’ coming kingdom. And Jesus, the man who would not sit with scoffers, that day welcomed one into Paradise.

Taking up the Psalms in prayer, day by day, we too will hear the healing words of pardon and acceptance, that welcome us into his Kingdom of love and life.