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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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From death to Resurrection

This is the day that the Lord has acted; let us rejoice and be glad in it

This month we come to the most holy week of the year in which we remember, celebrate and are taken up into Jesus' passion and resurrection. We know the story well from reading the Gospels. The psalms also move us from death to resurrection, particularly through our reciting of Psalm 22 on Good Friday and Psalm 118 on Easter. We move from Jesus' great lament on the cross, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (22:1) to the triumphant Easter proclamation: The stone the builders have rejected has become the head of the corner. ... This is the day the Lord has acted; let us rejoice and be glad in it (118:22, 24).

The cry of Psalm 22:1 is only the first of the ties between this psalm and the passion of Jesus. Other familiar verses point to the mocking of the soldiers (22:7-8), to the parched lips of Jesus (22:15), to the casting of lots for Christ's clothing (22:18), and even to the piercing of Christ's hands and feet (22:16). Psalm 22 is the passion prayed, carrying us to the cross.

At the same time, Psalm 22 encapsulates our cries to God. My God, my God, how many have died in the tsunami? ... My God, my God, why has mental illness struck my child? ... Why this cancer? ... Why this chaos of war? ... Why this divorce, this cruelty, this death? Through this psalm, we know Jesus to be like us in our deepest sorrows. Jesus doesn't simply cry our lament — he lives it.


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