Psalm 30:5 - For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Throughout His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus followed the custom of meeting for worship in the temple and in the synagogue. In worship and personal prayer, He surely offered up praise and petitions to His Heavenly Father in the words of the psalms. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn before they went out to Gethsemane (see Mark 14:26), very likely part of the Hallel—Psalms 113-118—used in the Passover celebration. His work on the cross complete, Jesus committed His spirit into His Father's hands, in a prayer like that of Psalm 31:5, "Into Your hand I commit My spirit." Scripture records His anguished cry from Psalm 22:1a, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" Although we consider only a single verse here, all of Psalm 30 could have served as an Easter morning prayer for our Lord, summing up both His suffering and "the joy that was set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2b).
Desolation and grief tarried for the night in Gethsemane, but there was no joy in the morning that followed, only suffering and death. On the cross, Jesus endured God's wrath against human sin and rebellion. His Father turned away, abandoning His Son to the suffering and shame of the cross, and the Savior cried out, "My God ... why?" Jesus endured the Father's anger and judgment so that we might enjoy His favor for a lifetime, for all eternity.
Committing Himself into His Father's hands, Jesus yielded up His spirit. Surely His followers wept that night, and the next as well, knowing that their Lord's body was sealed in a dark tomb. Weeping may have tarried for more than one night, but there is no doubt that joy came with the next morning! At the empty tomb, on that first Easter morning, the angel announced the glad news to the women: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said" (Matthew 28:5b-6a).
In repentant fear, we acknowledge that we have earned God's anger against our sin. But God in His grace—His undeserved favor for sinners—sent His Son to be our Savior. Jesus took the divine wrath against sin, and the penalty of death that we deserved, onto Himself. Even so, there are times in our lives when the weeping, loss, and grief seem to tarry much longer than a single night. Yet because Christ Jesus endured the anguish and abandonment of the cross, our weeping is temporary; it lingers only a little while. Joy will always come in the morning, the joy that dawned on that first Easter, a joy that cannot be shaken, a joy that will last for all eternity.
THE PRAYER: Crucified and risen Lord, in those times when our weeping tarries, draw us through Your Word to the Easter joy that will never fade or fail. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
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