To you, O LORD, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death (or, ‘in my blood’),
if I go down to the pit (‘to corruption’)?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
First of all, I felt it was necessary for me to throw in some of the extras coming from the ESV version of this set of verses, just for us to explore a little bit more. For instance, I went ahead and specified that other translations may say, ‘what profit is there in my blood’, versus what we read immediately (‘In my death’)? At the time I was thinking, that death comes as a result of the condition of our blood – obviously, if our blood is not flowing in our vessels and is, say, spilt on the ground versus providing nourishment and life to all of our body, all at once – this results in our death.
If our blood is poisoned, we have a greater chance of dying. If our systems to circulate blood fail, we’d certainly die a lot faster. Suddenly I remember a comic I read, where Jesus was talking to Professor Xavier about His own ‘powers’, particularly that of turning water in to wine – the latter was dismissing this as a mere party trick when someone nearby collapses, dead. Jesus then tells the good Professor, ‘The body is made of 60% water.‘ If the composition of our blood changes – if it’s rendered acidic or watered down, we die.
And here’s the thing – even if our blood meets all the perfect standards, so we not only not die, but our physical bodies move at optimal performance, we’re still going to die. Why is this? Well, it’s the sin that corrupts us, down to our blood, that dooms us to eventual death, one way or another. Putting two verses from the fabled ‘Roman Road’ together, we’ve all sinned, and we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God – and because we have sinned, we are doomed to pay its wages – the wages of sin is death.
And if you’ve been following me for any amount of time you’ve probably already noticed how I enjoy just talking about these things, if only to eventually emphasize just how much more we are loved by God. It’s easy for us to talk about the sheer impossibility of our redemption through our own strength, and our own strategies, if only to point out that no one less than Jesus Christ can rescue us. In this particular case it gives us another perspective as to just how we’ve been saved by Him – He took our sins, and He became sin down to the blood level, taking on the corruption that once cursed us into the blood of His own body, being THAT saturated in the countless totality of the sin of all generations that came from Adam and Eve.
He became sin, taking the sin that corrupted our own blood, that we would become His righteousness – that is, that the righteousness that literally flows in His own blood would be the eternal life that now flows in our own being. Here, we have another perspective to appreciate when we sing lines like ‘His blood flows through our veins’.
We also see that when the Psalmist writes of us going ‘down to the pit’, he may also mean going down ‘to corruption’; I think of the pit as a place lower than level ground, and apparently, in these places where we fall, there is corruption present. Corruption is, therefore, essentially a ‘lower’ state, a state we aren’t always supposed to be in, a state we’re supposed to be higher from, if that makes any sense. Corruption is a lower state of being, and unfortunately, it’s one that we’re constantly in by default – just as sin is within us as in a virus that corrupts our blood leading to death, so sin will always fall short, and sin will always be below the ideal state of living, which is emphasized by the Law. If Paul says that the Law serves as a mirror that reveals our sin to our eyes, I believe he would also agree that it serves as a perfect template, if only to show how our existence with sin so ingrained in us will never meet its standards.
Sin was so part of us, corrupting us down to our blood, dooming us to death.
Sin is a state of our being that leaves us in the pits, without any hope of reaching, much less staying above ground.
I was supposed to write about something else today, but since I already had that set of verses on Evernote, I didn’t think I should hold off on talking about what went through my mind in reflection, as early as this morning.
Speaking of this morning, another thing that came into my mind to think about was found in Proverbs 30 – King Lemuel was told, out of so many other things, not to give his strength to women (other translations mention ‘a woman’), nor to walk in ways that destroy kings. I’m not going to go into the details of how this actual thought, and how this specific verse came into mind, but I will say, in light of the corruption that is sin, that the pits we find ourselves in would only take us lower and lower.
We talk a great deal about sins of omission and sins of commission. We talk a lot about sin in varying degrees, and how some would end us in the deeper levels of Dante’s inferno… But apparently, if there’s one thing that sin is guaranteed to be, it’s that it is relentless. Sin never rests. We may not feel its consequences, but trust me, when we were sinners, we were in a free-fall. Now that I think of it, it’s not like we’re digging ourselves deeper in these pits – sure, it may seem like that at times, but it may be that we never see the bottom of the pit. Because of sin, we’re not only never rising – we’re also always falling… and as in quicksand, or as in any situation where we’re falling down great distances… the more we struggle, the deeper we get. The more we squirm, the faster we fall.
I guess the point I’m trying to share throughout all of this is that the state of sin is just the worst state we could ever be in. If you play Mortal Kombat with all its fatalities, brutalities, and sheer gore – You probably stumbled upon an interesting character, usually portrayed wearing all black, sometimes existing only as shadow, sometimes accompanied by shadows. His name is a play on the names of the evil geniuses who were present at the beginning of this entire universe… the ninja’s name is Noob Saibot.
I only bring him up because while I write about all this on sin, I remember one of his victory lines in Mortal Kombat X – ‘There are fates worse than death’.
I’m inclined to agree, because that fate is sin – for see, it’s far more painful to exist in sin, with nothing to hope for, or to live with the false hope of being of any sort of value, having a limited perspective – look at ‘life’ corrupted with sin that way, and you’d probably say that death is an act of mercy.
Indeed, of what value would our existence be with sin in our lives? Yet, this was our state. By Adam’s disobedience we have not only been given sin, but we have been MADE sinners – infected, corrupted, down the pits. We lost any value, and any chance of having any sort of value added upon us and sticking to us, all because of sin.
But here we see, and here we give glory to God – because by one Man’s obedience, by Christ’s obedience, many would be made righteous – that is, purified instead of infected, commended instead of corrupted, raised instead of being buried – by Christ we have been made righteous.
And apparently we may see the value of our being made new down to the level of blood, our being made new, that is, raised from the pit… Sure, we may see and appreciate the value of our being made new in Christ clear as day, but we can choose to respond as the Psalmist did – not stopping at valuation, instead, giving glory to the One who has turned our hopeless state into one of endless joy!
I mean, some may say, ‘forget not His benefits’, and they would be right. Some may point us to rejoicing in appreciating how all God’s promises are ‘Yes’, and in Christ, ‘Amen’… and they would be right too! But in this particular moment, consider also how we have yet another reason to celebrate, another reason to rejoice – that is, in saying that through Christ, our mourning has turned into dancing.
And apparently, it’s not as if we’d be dancing, ashamed – no, not only would the grace of God send us dancing, but we would be properly covered and adorned, much so that even when we try to stay silent, the rest of our body and being would just emanate the sheer glory of the Lord who is literally in our lives.
If there are fates worse than death, we’ve been given a salvation which is better than life – A salvation that would not only have value restored to us… No, we have a literally LIVING Salvation in whom we live. We have Christ, whose existence as our Salvation goes beyond the confines of our own minds, being more than theoretical – we have a living Salvation in whom we move. We have Christ, Salvation that has us, and in whom we have our being.
Give thanks to God, for He is good.
Father, thank You for everyone who’s been following me so far, and everyone who’s read up until this point. I pray and I declare that You continue to provide us with revelations of who You are, and what You have done for us, that we would never grow weary, and that we would even actually find more life and vigor in constantly appreciating You.
Thank You, Father, because although I do know that You minister to each and every one of us in our own personal ways, and that You minister to each of us according to how You made us, You also allow us to share our words… and, more than this access to a pulpit, Father, You’re the one who actually adds value to the words we do share. Father, I know You know that part of me is doing this out of my obligation to myself to share a fixed amount of words every day, but You see through my other intentions and You remain the actual value in the words that are actually shared.
I pray that we would continue to realize and understand and eventually appreciate the sheer infinite value of Christ added in our lives. I pray that we would see the value of Christ in anything and everything we experience, especially what we’re struggling with right now. Father, continue to teach us, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your goodness. Thank You for Your glory, and Your power above anything and everything we see before us.
Continue to be with us this week, Father. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.