"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption."
We often talk about hope. We say things like: "I hope it snows Tuesday" or "I hope I get the job I just applied for". That sort of hope is usually just optimism—or even pessimism cloaked in positive vibes. Of course, it's not wrong to hope in this way, but this hope is a boat without an anchor, and it often leads us out to sea with no way back to shore.
The Bible speaks of another kind of hope— one that is unseen but staked in a reality that will not be shaken. In Psalm 16:9-10, we see this hope in action. Everything inside of David was able to rejoice, even in the face of death, because he knew a life-altering truth. He knew with unabating confidence that God would not abandon his soul to Sheol.
The God who was with him would not abandon his soul in death. Why? Because God promised him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne forever. David foresaw that Jesus would be this descendant and that He'd rise from the dead. His confidence in God's eternal presence and rescue was in God's faithfulness to keep His covenant promise. God never lies. In fact, God cannot lie. And God showed David that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would rise from the dead.
This message is our hope, too.
After rising from the dead, Jesus said to His disciples, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44). He was speaking of his suffering, resurrection, and ascension to God's throne. In order for dead sinners to be rescued from the grip of death, death had to die. Death had to lose its victory and its sting. This is exactly what happened in Jesus' resurrection!
Jesus didn't take on human flesh to be a Ghandi-like moral teacher of the law. He didn't show up to be an earthly King and overthrow the Roman government. He came to do what the law couldn't do by fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law for us (Romans 8:3-4). He came to do what being a "good person" can't do for us. He came to pay for sin as our substitute because we couldn't and wouldn't even if we had the ability.
Since sinful men can't pay their own ransom and the ransom for another, someone without sin had to do it for us (Psalm 49:7). Jesus did that work. He proved it by paying the ransom we owed God—death—and rising from the grave with power. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father, and then "He sat down" (Hebrews 10:12). Task completed.
As we await for Christ to subdue all things under His feet, we can wait patiently because our hope is anchored in the work of God the Son. Christian, be patient and keep believing the gospel. Keep hoping in Christ even when the odds are against you and things aren't in your favor. God is with you, and He will never abandon your soul, even in death. You have been raised with Christ and you will one day be with Him forever. It's only a matter of time. Keep believing the gospel and looking to the Lord!
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