Touché April 14, 2017 (Good Friday)
Posted on April 14, 2017 by under This Week's Announcements,


An Easter Psalm?

“Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”  He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.”  (Psalm 2:1-4)

I always write my Easter message on Good Friday.  It helps keep it real.  This Good Friday we have churches bombed in Egypt by ISIS, Sarin gas in Syria, war ships off the North Korean coast, and the “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, Russia and the U.S. are back to being enemies.  Not much different than any other Good Friday preparing an Easter message.

This Sunday will be thirty years of Easter messages for me; those thirty have focused on the same texts.  The resurrection story from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John with Paul and 1 Corinthians 15 included every so often to give the broader perspective.  This year will be different.  As we conclude our forty days of praying the Psalms we read Psalm 2 for Easter.  I never thought of this as an Easter Psalm, but commentators point out it is focused on the Messiah as king of all the earth.  It is one of the favorite Psalms of the first century church.

The politicians and the kings of the earth plot in vain.  It is the Lord who holds the nations in his hand and his anointed one who directs the ways of the world.  On Good Friday it looked like the kings of earth could laugh at the chosen one.  The ways of Christ would not rule as the ways of this world, but Sunday was coming and the king who has the last laugh, laughs best. So many of our Easter messages focus on Jesus as personal savior and the individual hope this gives us forever.  Psalm 2 asks us to look to God to turn our world from Good Friday to Easter.  Resurrection day is the first fruits of a new creation that makes the ways of this world look silly and senseless in light of God’s plan.

Psalm 2 may be where that phrase: “You want to make God laugh?  Tell him your plans” comes from.  But it is spoken here about the plans of presidents, kings, dictators and ISIS.  It is hard to believe in the message of Easter in a Good Friday world, but the kings of the earth thought they had ended the plans of Jesus on Good Friday.  It was Easter morn that gave him the last laugh.

Psalm 2 ends with a beatitude like the one Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount, “happy are all who take refuge in him.”  I hope you are happy as you take refuge in him.  I hope that for our world as well as we learn the ways of King Jesus.

Happy Easter!