David cries “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck (literally, “soul”).
David feels like he’s drowning in the sea, like he’s descending into hell.
“Where the hell are you, O God?”
In the 1950s, scientists did studies on baby monkeys and found that they would bond with a fuzzy surrogate monkey mother instead of a wire surrogate, even when the wire mother was the one that gave them food.
Our primary need is for comfort and communion with another.
Our fundamental problem, according to some psychologists, and the Bible, is “aloneness.”
It was the one thing declared “not good” by God, even before the fall.
“It’s not good that the Adam (humanity) is alone,” said God.
In Psalm 69 David is asking, “Where the hell is the fuzzy monkey? Where is God?”
“[They] hate me without cause,” cries David in verse 4.
“Zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me,” mourns David in verse 9.
In verse 21, David sings, “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.”
According to Romans 15:3 and John 2:17, 15:3, and 19:28, when David sings “me,” Jesus is the “me” and it is he that is speaking.
So, where the hell is God? Where is my comfort? Where is that fuzzy monkey?
Perhaps he’s nailed to a tree in a garden.
Every morning, in my mind’s eye, I try to picture myself resting my head on Jesus’ chest just as John did at the last supper… and I find great comfort.
But sometimes when I can’t seem to find him and I’m drowning in despair, I’ll picture my hand strapped to wood, and another hand placed over my hand, as a nail is driven through both hands… and then, I find comfort, or the Comforter finds me.
I’m not finding comfort in wounding myself or Jesus; I’m already wounded.
I’m already suffering, and Jesus has already suffered.
“Despair is suffering without meaning,” wrote Victor Frankl.
At the cross I surrender my wounds and see that my wounds are his wounds, and those wounds are transformed into Glory.
Have you forgotten? You are his body…
You may say, “I haven’t suffered for Jesus.”
Have you suffered for the Truth? Jesus is the Truth.
You say, “I haven’t suffered for the Good; I’ve committed the evil.”
Yes, but if you suffer now, isn’t it because you love the Good and God alone is Good?
How could you suffer, except for the Good?
How could you suffer, except for Love and God is Love?
And how could you not suffer… at all?
I suppose you could try not to love, Love; you could try not to care about Truth, Life, and Beauty… you could hide your heart in hell.
You could hide in hell or you could face your wounds and surrender them at the tree.
You could “share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.”
We are least alone when we are with those with whom we’ve suffered.
You’re not alone in hell; someone has descended into that place with you.
Look, and you will see your wounds on his body and his wounds on yours.
He gives your suffering his meaning; he is “the meaning,” the Logos.
When you see it, you won’t be able to help but sing “hallelujah.”
Where’s Jesus? I think he’s hanging on a tree in a garden at the edge of time and eternity.
And where is that garden? That garden is in the sanctuary of David’s soul… and your soul.
The words of Jesus on the cross are coming out of David’s mouth in 1000 BC.
Jesus is dying and rising with David, just as St. Paul described in Romans 6.
“The waters have come to his soul;” David is being baptized into Christ.
“If we are joined with him in a death like his, we will surely be joined with him in a resurrection like his.”
Your old man is dead and cannot be justified; your new man is your justification and cannot die…he has more than conquered.
God knows you. Would you like to know God?
People go on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyworld, to get the Indiana Jones experience.
People go to the movies to get the Luke Skywalker experience… to be there when he saves the galaxy.
You don’t need to go to the movies, or pay $50 and wait in line, for the “Jesus experience.”
You just need to see that your wounds are on his body and watch as he makes all things new… even through you.
David’s song begins with loneliness and despair, but it ends with every creature praising the Lamb on the throne… and no one is alone.
You can only hide your wounds in hell.
Surrender them and they turn into Heaven.
Jesus is waiting for you at a tree in a garden; don’t make him wait any longer.
(PS My mother passed away the night before I preached this message, so in this sermon I tell some of her story and how she passed. She was “there when they crucified my Lord,” and she was “there when he rose up from the grave.” Of course, her wounds are Christ’s wounds. She is his body.)