The Psalms Show Us Christ’s Resurrection - Lent Midweek Service
Rev. Charles Westby, Pastor
Psalms 16:1-11, Psalms 22:1-32, Psalms 118:1-29, Acts 2:25-32
March 24, 2021

“The Psalms Show Us Christ’s Resurrection”

Selected Verses from Psalm 16, Psalm 22, Psalm 118, and Others

Sermon for Lent Midweek March 24, 2021

Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rifle, Colorado

Rev. Charles Westby, Pastor


As we have been looking at how the Psalms show us Christ, we have been exploring what Jesus said to His disciples when He appeared to them alive again on the third day. He said, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44 NKJV). And then Jesus went on to say, “Thus it had been written that the Christ suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (Luke 24:46). We have looked at Christ’s suffering from the Psalms. This evening we look at how the Psalms shows us Christ’s resurrection.

In Psalm 22 last week, in the midst of His suffering, He cried out: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1). Yet, He did not lose faith as He prayed: “But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion’s mouth and from the horns of the wild oxen!” (Psalm 22:19-21a NKJV).

The cry and this prayer from the cross hold us in suspense. It is like a darkness has descended, but then there is a pause. And then, there is a sudden transition in the Psalm. The darkness is broken by the light of this exclamation: “You have answered Me” (Psalm 22:21b NKJV). And then the Christ declares: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You. You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, . . . For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when he cried to Him, He heard” (Psalm 22:22-24).

God has answered His faithful one. God has answered His Son. God has not abandoned His Holy One to sheol. He has heard and vindicated Him by causing Him to live again.

The Christ can only praise the Lord’s Name in the midst of the congregation if He lives. And so though He said on the cross “You have brought Me to the dust of death,” now He says “I will declare Your name to My brethren” (Psalm 22:15b, 22a).

Christ also suffered and died in faith, spoken by the Spirit through King David: “My flesh also will rest in hope. You will not abandon my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:9b-10).

On the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter talked about this passage from Psalm 16 as the Spirit gave him utterance (Acts 2:25-32). Peter declared that King David was not speaking of himself here, but that he was speaking of the Christ. For Peter pointed out the obvious. King David’s tomb was still with them on the day Peter preached that sermon. So David was speaking of the Christ, whom Peter and the twelve and James, and then 500 brethren, and then Paul had seen alive again with their eyes. Jesus is the Holy One. Jesus is the Christ, whose soul God did not abandon to sheol. He is the One who proclaimed the great faith that we have in God: “My flesh also will rest in hope.”

But this is the way it must be with God. For in the midst of His deep distress in the garden, in Psalm 88, the Christ cried out to God: “Will You work wonders for the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise You? Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave; or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark and Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? (Psalm 88:10-12 NKJV).

God is God of the living, not the dead. His righteous One, the Christ, who does not lose faith, must be answered. The Lord’s righteousness shall not be forgotten in the land of forgetfulness. He shall work wonders for the dead. The dead will arise and paise the Lord. The Lord’s lovingkindness shall be declared in the grave. It will be declared to the generations that He has done it (Psalm 22:31).

He has heard the cry of His afflicted One; He has not hidden His face from Him. He has not abandoned His soul to sheol. The Holy One lives again to declare the name of the Lord in the midst of the congregation. His faith must be vindicated, as He said: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). And so He waited on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). And the Lord has vindicated Him. “The stone that was rejected by the builders has become the head of the corner. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22-23).

Answer from God; vindication; living to declare Yahweh’s name among His people. This is how the Psalms depict Christ’s resurrection to us.

And there is vindication indeed. With Christ on the cross, we saw the mocking and ridicule from those who put Him there. They stuck out the tongue. They wagged their heads. They tempted Him to unbelief. They lifted no hand to help Him (Psalm 22:6-8).

But now the Lord answers Him. The stone they rejected is chosen by God to be the cornerstone, the stone by which the walls of God’s sanctuary are set. This rejected stone now declares: “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21). The Christ, who was rejected by the arrogant and wicked, gets the last laugh.  

So the Lord has demonstrated that He is the One who rules over the nations in raising Christ from the dead. The faithful One who waited for the Lord while he was put to death cruelly and unjustly by the nations is vindicated. And the nations are brought to shame. But in Him, as He lives again, there is the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore at God’s right hand (Psalm 16:11).

When we go back to the beginning of our little journey through the Psalms these past few weeks, we once again hear the promise from the end of Psalm 2, where we started, regarding God’s Son: “Blessed are all who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:12).

You are blessed in Him as You put your trust in Him. He took God’s wrath against your sin into Himself. We saw this in the anguish in the garden (Psalm 88:7, 16). And He bore the cruel injustice and wickedness of human beings, particularly rulers, who just cannot stand it when someone is faithful to the one true God in defiance of them, though He was not being disrespectful of them but faithful to God. So they killed Him. But now He lives. He is vindicated. God has answered Him. Death does not have the final say. It has no power over Him.  

And so your faith in Him and God is vindicated. God will answer You as He answered Him; death will not have the final say over You as it did not have the final say over Him. You live in Him to declare the praises of God in the great congregation. You too do not lose hope that You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. You will rise in Him, in the Christ, God’s Son, in eternal blessing.

We thank God that He has shown us all this in the Scripture’s song book. We thank God that He brought it to pass in time and space on this earth, in our flesh and blood, as we see Jesus, our brother, the Christ. They put Him to death on that cross, but God raised Him again on the third day. And then He appeared to His brothers and proclaimed the name of the Lord to them.

And so He lives for us and among us. And so we too live in Him. And there is nothing rulers and powers can do about it. The stone of which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. This day of resurrection is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it in the Son forever. Amen.


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