Your Shame Has Been Crucified: A Reflection on Psalm 130


Psalm 130

 

A song of ascents.

1  Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

  

If you are on your way to a fancy dinner party when you realize that you are wearing the wrong socks, you would probably be really thankful your suit pants cover your ankles. “Don’t cross your legs!” you think. But just at that moment, you notice last week’s red wine stain on your white shirt. You button your suit and secretly remind yourself: “Even if it’s hot inside, don’t take off your jacket.” But then, unexpectedly, the thread on the back of your suit frays and rips. At this point, you nearly collapse and begin to obsess about whether it is even worth attending this long-awaited dinner.

>
“Our problem is not “doing poorly,” but a misinterpretation of the Gospel.

Brokenness Behind the Facade

This is a lot like the struggles Christians have before going to church. Everyone wants to show up for worship radiating with joy, with a decent wife and well-behaved children. We all long to share enviable stories when brothers and sisters ask about our daily lives, and we want to apply the Bible at the right time, as our children say “Amen” in the background. Although we can brush off our worries at work and can cover our strained marriage behind a professional smile, our children’s every word and move reveal the brokenness behind this façade. We catch ourselves being distracted or subconsciously fumbling with our phones during the sermon—or maybe we just don’t bother to come next week.

Some in the church send their children to the grandparents’ house or hire a babysitter so they can come to Sunday service alone. That way, they won’t be embarrassed during church. Others start to leave as the hymn of response begins to play, not wanting to fellowship with brothers and sisters because they are afraid of saying too much. Still others tell the pastor, “I am not doing so well lately, I will come to church when I get better.”

Our problem is not “doing poorly,” but a misinterpretation of the Gospel. 

Judgment and Salvation at the Same Moment

Psalm 130 is a “song of ascent,” which the Israelites sang as they pilgrimaged to Jerusalem. Did the Israelites become holier as they walked to the Temple for worship? Of course not. They went to the Temple because they were unclean and defiled and needed cleansing and atonement for their sins. The closer they came to the Temple, the more they understood God’s holiness, the more they realized their own sinfulness and inability to stand before God. 

However, the God we worship not only judges all sin and makes it impossible for sinners to stand; he also lavishes on us the grace of forgiveness. The psalmist has seen and understood the righteous judgment of this God, and is waiting for the forgiveness and salvation he promises. 

“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” 

The daybreak that the night watchman is awaiting will illuminate everything, including our hidden sins. At the same time, the light that comes dispels all darkness. Judgment and salvation occur simultaneously in the moment of daybreak.

Do You Believe?

Although the Old Testament psalmist was still waiting, today we have seen this light. The moment Jesus was crucified, God’s judgment on sin fell on his righteous shoulders. The dawn of the third day shone on the empty tomb, giving all sinners a glimpse of the hope of resurrection. 

>
“The gospel pulls down the last veil and lets the light of God shine on and heal us completely.

The gospel does not give us a piece of cloth to cover up our sins as we come to meet God. 

The gospel pulls down the last veil and lets the light of God shine on and heal us completely.

In the Church, we meet a God who is both righteous and loving. Without the cross, our sins would hinder us from enjoying his mercy. But because of the cross, our debt of sin has been paid. We can enter the Most Holy Place without fear and thoroughly enjoy the presence of God.

Christian, do you believe all your shame has been crucified together with Jesus? If you believe, do not shut yourself out of the church because of external factors. 

Hu Yongjie is a pseudonym for a church planter in Shanghai. In his spare time, he enjoys trail running.

  

PRAYER

Lord, 

I want to meet you face to face. Prepare my heart to confess my sins through the knowledge of your righteousness; to reprove myself by the Holy Spirit you have given; to believe in your salvation because of your cross; and to be willing to worship you openly and without fear because of the resurrection of Jesus. Lord, help me to become a person who is sensitive to sin and constant in repentance. Help me to become a person who always returns to the cross. By faith in the gospel, make me humble and courageous. May I become your worshiper, dwelling in your temple all the days of my life and keeping your statutes and laws. 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen! 

   


We are using the Psalms to guide our prayers for China

In 2022, our prayer movement is turning to the scriptural prayers found in the Psalms as we pray for the Chinese church. When you join our prayer movement, you will receive weekly prayer emails and a monthly newsletter so that you too can pray for our brothers and sisters in China.

  

Share This Story

Further Reading

zhang-kaiyv-L9NHlk2CGOQ-unsplash
Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
Read More
yifei-wong-HfLKjg2ic64-unsplash
Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
Read More
kenneth-yang-lJWJLkwIsng-unsplash(1)
Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.