March 27, 2021
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:7,10-12,17
This psalm of repentance is often read on Good Friday in liturgical churches around the world—and for good reason. Verse 7 foreshadows David’s answer to prayer when Christ is offered hyssop while nailed to the Cross (John 19:29). And as the Son petitions the Father to forgive us our sins (Luke 23:34), he expels his last breath and presents himself to the Father as a final sacrifice for our sins (Luke 23:46).
Our response? Similar to David’s confession, when we grasp the depth of our sin-marred lives and plea to God to renew and uphold a right spirit within us, his Holy Spirit assures us that Christ’s salvific work is “finished“ (John 19:30). The Son has indeed washed us whiter than snow. We now have full access to the Father.
Hallelujah! The “joy of our salvation” is restored.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling