Safety. Forever! - Psalm 23, John 11, 14 - sermon notes
In this service we center our celebration on the resurrection of Christ as we see it predicted in the final word of Psalm 23: "forever"!
- You will notice that a variety of Scripture readings are prominent in this service of worship. All of these passages are intended to create the contextual setting in which the final words of Psalm 23 can be fully understood. Therefore, it should be clear as the sermon begins that this message continues (and concludes) the series of messages on Psalm 23.
- This is a short Psalm with a long ending. "Forever," its last word, is packed with meaning that we can fully understand only when we consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his promise of eternal life to us.
- The first half of verse 6 contains "twin mercies." "Goodness and love" were code words to the Hebrews that spoke of God's covenant faithfulness. Hearing those words, they understood that God is their keeper! These gifts will "follow" (pursue and never abandon) us all the days of our living.
- The "house of the Lord" points to a deep bonding between the sheep and shepherd, which came to expression in David's bonding with the Tabernacle and Temple as his place for worship. The farther David was from his place of worship, the more lonely and insecure he felt. See his claim in Psalm 27:4.
- The psalm ends with "forever." This goes beyond "all the days of my life." It goes into eternity. David had a glimpse of that, but this promise can only be fully understood in the light of Jesus' resurrection and all the promises that were made sure by his exit from the tomb. There are such glimpses in the Old Testament (Job 19:25 and Psalm 73:23-24, for instance). And there were promises early in Jesus' ministry (John 6:47, 8:51, and 10:28, for instance). The resurrection of Lazarus was a powerful testimony to this hope. But the resurrection of Jesus was the final testimony to it all.
- Here is our assurance and comfort. The Shepherd's twin mercies will be our companion all the days we have here on earth, and then in the deepest sense of the word we will be in the house of the Lord eternally-because of the resurrection of Jesus!