10 April 2017 St. Athanasius Lutheran Church
Holy Monday Vienna, VA
Text: Psalm 36:5-10 (John 12:1-11)
David wrote in the Psalm: Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens.
The heights of the heavens are just beginning to be seen by man. The Hubble telescope, peering out into space, is seeing things never seen before. Wonder upon wonder. Things created by God in His steadfast love.
David then also wrote: Your judgments [O LORD,] are like the great deep.
The same as the heights of the heavens are just beginning to be seen by man, so too the very depths of the earth; the greatest depths of the sea. The deep, shrouded in darkness, far too deep for any man to go, is beginning to be seen by machines now plunging to those depths. And we are seeing things never seen before. Wonder upon wonder. Things created by God is His steadfast love.
And just as we are beginning to see things never before seen by man, so this week shows us things of God we would never know or see apart from His showing them to us. Just how great the extent of His steadfast love, which is higher than the highest heavens. And just how deep the depths of His judgments, deeper than the deepest seas. His steadfast love that would take Him to the cross . . . and keep Him there. The judgment He would suffer there. The judgment against our sin and the sin of the world. The judgment so great it would crush the very Son of God Himself. There is the very height and depth of His steadfast love for you.
No wonder David exclaims: How precious is your steadfast love, O God! How precious indeed. That we not be crushed by His judgment against sin, but instead live in His forgiveness and love.
And yet just as even our greatest telescope cannot see to the end of the heavens and our greatest submersible cannot see the deepest depths, so there is still more to the steadfast love of God than we can understand; than our small, sinful minds can comprehend. His steadfast love which is more wonderful than we could ever imagine. For what still awaits us? What have we not yet seen? The feast He has prepared for us. The river of delights that awaits us. The fountain of life that flows over us. The light that He is, that makes the sun like a small candle in the daylight.
David was given a glimpse of that and was awe-struck. Speechless without the speech given Him by God. So great is the steadfast love of the Lord.
Paul would marvel at it, too, later quoting from the prophet Isaiah:
“no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Judas couldn’t see it. He was blinded by the glint of gold and the shine of silver. How silly. Yet how often is the same true for us, too? How often are we blinded by the things of this world, and deafened by the so-called wisdom of this world. Repent. And with David, rejoice in and wonder at the steadfast love of the LORD we witness this week. The steadfast love of a God who would do this, offer up His Son, for us. A great wonder, the greatest wonder, indeed.
In the Name of the Father, and of the (+) Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.