“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever … In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the heart of the king’s enemies …” Psalm 45:2-5 NIV
I love the tangible spirit of noble victory that comes through in this psalm today, which many Biblical scholars consider to be Messianic. The image it evokes is one of Jesus riding high above the cares of the world, armour intact, His righteousness cutting through evil, sin and pride, each time reaching its mark. It echoes the acclaim and praise of the Triumphal Entry; from which highpoint, ironically, Jesus went on to experience the growing rejection of the confused crowd, until they shouted for His death.
In a week that was for Jesus one of intense feelings, He carried alone the knowledge that He would be betrayed by one disciple, and denied and deserted by the others. Nevertheless, He faithfully continued His ministry each day of the hard journey to Jerusalem and the cross, obedient to His Father’s will - righteousness and majesty not above but within and amongst the cares of the world, in humility.
In spite of the approaching darkness in the last week of His earthly life, Jesus never lost His perspective and purpose. He continued reaching out to those in need, even when His friends didn’t understand Him because they didn’t want to hear what He was saying.
Certainly His anger rose when He saw how the Temple was being abused and that God’s intention for His house to be called “a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17) had been ignored by the religious leaders. He rebuked those who were twice guilty of turning the Temple into “a den of robbers”, extorting the people as they exchanged currency, and robbing the temple of its sanctity by turning the precinct intended for Gentile prayer into a rowdy, smelly marketplace and thoroughfare.
Jesus’ action restored the order and dignity for all again, and again “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.” (Matthew 21:14)
Righteousness, majesty, humility, God with us.
It can seem painfully hard when people we care about can’t identify with where we are on our journey, and as rejection and loneliness replace the support and joy they once brought us, we can lose our perspective and sense of purpose. But in Jesus, God is with us, in the midst of our cares. His example and His presence keep us on track.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, "Your throne … will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8) Thank You for showing us Your grace by making it count in our lives through Your example. Help me to grow in righteousness like You. Amen