The Word for today:
Psalms 15, 16
The last time I ran the Boston Marathon was in 2003. The schedule is a little different now, but in those days, we’d get on a bus at the Boston Commons in downtown Boston at about 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. Then we’d be transported to Hopkinton, where the race begins. I don’t really know why we were there so early, because the race didn’t start until noon.
That gave us about 5 hours to do…nothing.
So while I was doing nothing one April morning in Hopkinton, Massachusetts in 2003, I happened upon a man who was reading from a little Gideons’ New Testament. It is not unusual to see Bibles being read before marathons.
What initially caught my eye was the yarmulke the reader/runner was wearing. (A yarmulke is a cap worn by Orthodox and Conservative Jewish males.) Being, at that time, just as direct as I am now, I intended to ask him if he wore the yarmulke during the race! But then I saw the little Bible in his hands.
“The book of Psalms.” (Gideons’ Testaments always include Psalms and Proverbs.)
“The 16th. I always read Psalm 16 before a marathon.”
“Well, best of luck out there today.”
In 2003, I was on my way to basic Bible literacy, but I certainly wasn’t conversant enough with Psalm 16 to engage him any further.
But I’ve often thought of him since then. I’ve prayed for him. I’ve wondered about him; whether he read only from the Psalms, or did he read from the rest of his Gideons’ Testament too?
And did he know who it was he was reading about? Psalm 16 is a startling unveiling of the mind of Christ as he stood in the very shadow of a cross which loomed directly ahead.
That’s about all I want to say, because I want you to enter the mind of Christ on your own. Here’s the briefest outline:
16:8–life of Christ
16:9–death of Christ
16:10–resurrection of Christ
16:11–ascension of Christ
The day you know that Psalm 16 is about Jesus, then it’s about you, too:
For I have been crucified with Christ… (Galatians 2:20).
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8)
But if you think Psalm 16 is about you, it never will be.
I hope by some miracle that this article will find its way to the man in the marathon in 2003. I hope this finds you with your cap still on your head, and with Jesus in your Psalm 16.
Long may you run.