“For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Psalm 31:3-5
Psalm 31 is a Psalm of hope and trust in God in the middle of great trials from those plotting against you, and it’s to this Psalm that Jesus’ thoughts turned as he breathed his final breathe while hanging upon the cross.
You see the cross wasn’t part of Satan’s plan for Christ. Satan was doing everything he could do to try and induce Jesus to abandon his plan, to reject dying upon the cross, and to leave us unredeemed. It was his hope that by doing so he could force our loving Father into admitting that there was no remediation for sin and cause him to decide to give us life in spite of the presence of sin. He believed that if God could be forced to admit that love could not conquer everything that God would be forced to let all sinners, including himself, live.
So ever since Christ was born Satan had been endeavoring to drive him away from his plan to sacrifice himself to save us. In the wilderness as Jesus was tempted by Satan the devil’s intentions became clear in the third temptation. Satan has just shown Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and now he says, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
In this Satan is presenting Jesus a trap, and you and I are the bait. Satan is telling Jesus that there’s another option to getting us back. All he has to do is bow down and worship the devil. But in doing so Jesus would not have gotten us back as spotlessly washed, fleshing redeemed children. He would have gotten us back as unrepentant, unreconciled sinners. Yes, he would have gotten us back but in doing so he would have lost the battle to destroy sin forever.
Psalm 31 is a prayer of trust and praise for God’s ability to protect and save us from the traps of the Devil. As Jesus felt is life slipping away he cried out one last triumphant answer to all the trials Satan had besieged him with his entire life, “Father, into your hand I commit my spirit,” and he died.
One last time the Father had kept him from falling for the Devil’s trap. One last time he was victorious over his enemy’s plotting. Jesus in his dying was victorious over Satan and because he was we, and all creation, are saved from the dominion of sin.
O God, we praise you for your salvation. O Jesus we worship you for your steadfast love for us. You are our Savior. You are our redeemer. You are worthy to receive honor, and glory, and power, and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.