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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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In his hard work on the cross Jesus endured everything that this psalm of David petitions against--shame, being trapped in the snare set by others and needing to await rescue. Yet one of the last phrases Jesus utters from the cross is still found in this psalm: "Into your hands I commit my spirit." Jesus knew that his times were in divine hands. He knew that deliverance would come, as it did for Jonah, after three days in the belly of the earth. So, constrained in time and in mortality, Jesus opens to us eternity and resurrection hope.

Jesus endured the shame of the cross that we might be clothed and comforted and full of life through that work. Jesus entered into the snare of death that we might be set free from all that binds us. Jesus lingered on the cross and in the tomb that we might immediately start to experience eternal life.

God our times are indeed in your hands. Help us cling to the treasures Jesus has loosed for us on the cross and most tightly to Jesus himself. Amen.

Karl Hester, '01
Pastor, Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran, Salem, Ore.

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 (NRSV)

1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God...
15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.