Can you remember back to when you were afraid of the dark? I can. Probably most children are afraid of darkness when they are young. The darkness covers everything in a shroud so that we can’t see anything. I can remember being terrified of some kind of “boogeyman” I imagined would come out from under my bed at night when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I would always cry out for help hoping my mom or dad would come to my rescue.
Psalm 28 speaks about the “Pit”. This is a recurring theme in several Psalms, as well as other scriptures. The Pit is sometimes translated as “Hades”, or the place of the dead. In today’s Psalm we see Jesus facing His very human fear of death. I suppose we can’t completely relate to the fear of death until the very words are pronounced over us. Like in a doctor’s office, when we are told with certainty we are about to die. Jesus not only knew His death was impending, He knew exactly how He would die – and it was horrifying.
Of course, we all know we are going to die someday, but if we are healthy that seems somehow remote. As Jesus lived out His ministry, the specter of the cross loomed larger and larger over his thoughts. He knew one day soon He would stretch out His arms to be nailed to the cross, and die. In the stark reality of those thoughts, the Psalmist helps us to hear Jesus cry out for help to His Father. Until Jesus’ resurrection, there was no coming back after death. The Pit was a place of permanence.
Psalm 28 can be sung as a prayer of our coming resurrection, even as it was prophetically for Christ’s. The ancient creeds of Christianity teach us to look for the resurrection of dead and life everlasting…
“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen” (Nicene-Constantinoplitan Creed 325AD-381AD)
As a child, in my fear of the dark, I needed comfort. Of course, my two brothers who slept in the same room with me would always tell me to shut-up, but what I needed was the comfort of my mother or father – and they always came to my rescue.
Eventually I learned not to be afraid of the dark. I learned that God was with me everywhere, even in a dark room. What fears do you have today? Maybe you fear the darkness of feeling alone, or perhaps even the knowledge of your own impending death. Know that Jesus is always with you. He will rescue you from your pit of fear and darkness…
“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)