Sunday, February 18, 2018: The Bitterness of Death And The Hope of The Gospel

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD… Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:13, 15)

Death is a bitter reality. The psalmist understood this; he testified vividly to the trauma of his own near-death experience (116:3, 8). However, as you know, we don’t always live to tell the tale of such an experience. God, at some point, allows His people to die.

That’s why Psalm 116:13 says that the death of a saint is precious to God. Tim Keller points out that this means “our deaths are costly and painful to him.” When the grave claims one of our own, God Himself knows our pain. After all, He experienced the costly death of His own dear Son. It is in this vein that Keller also holds out the hope of the Gospel for us as we grieve the passing of a beloved saint:

“God does, of course, allow his people to die, but they are so precious to him that he [paid] the ultimate price on the cross so that our physical death [is] just an entrance into greater life… Therefore, we can drink ‘the cup of salvation’ to him, celebrating this salvation in worship. But that is only because he drank the cup of divine wrath for sin…” 

Facing His own death in Luke 22:42, Jesus asked the Father, “…if you are willing, remove this cup from me.” The cup symbolized the just penalty for our sin: the terror of God’s outpoured wrath. And though Jesus longed for another way, He knew what needed to be done in order to save us and surrendered, praying, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” 

Because our crucified Messiah drank every last drop from our cup, we can raise the cup of salvation in worship to Him this Sunday, even with the bitterness of death wafting in the air. For we know that in Him nothing can separate us from the love of God—not even death (Rom. 8:38-39). Are you living like that’s true? Pray that God’s love would become so glorious to you that you would spend your short life on this earth living as you’ve been loved by Jesus, so that come Sunday you can sing with joyful confidence:

And with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see
It will be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me

Set List for Sunday, February 18, 2018:

Hallelujah! What a Savior (Your Love Has Rescued Me) by Austin Stone Worship (P. Bliss, M. Carter, A. Ivey, H. Suh)

I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Passion (C. H. Gabriel, C. Tomlin)

Heart Abandoned (S. Curran, K. Stanfill)

Build My Life (P. Barrett, K. Kaple, K. Martin, M. Redman, B. Younker)

How Great Is Your Love (K. Stanfill, P. Wickham, B. Younker)

You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s current song rotation on Spotify.

About Tyler Greene (168 Articles)
Tyler Greene is the Associate Pastor of Worship Ministries for LifePoint Church in Ozark, MO.

1 Comment on Sunday, February 18, 2018: The Bitterness of Death And The Hope of The Gospel

  1. Thanks brother

    Like

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