A Legacy That Doesn't Fade

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Psa 49:1-20 GW Our text today is taken from the 49th Psalm  Listen to this, all you people. Open your ears, all who live in the world-  (2)  common people and important ones, rich people and poor ones.  (3)  My mouth will speak wise sayings, the insights I have carefully considered. (4) I will turn my attention to a proverb. I will explain my riddle with the music of a lyre.

 (5)  Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, when slanderers surround me with evil?  
(In other words, don’t be concerned about others having the upper hand over you in this life.)

(6)  They trust their riches and brag about their abundant wealth.  (7)  No one can ever buy back another person or pay God a ransom for his life.  (8)  The price to be paid for his soul is too costly.

There is only One who could serve as a ransom for life, only One who could buy back that which is otherwise destined for hell,  and that One is Jesus. Because the price to be paid for man’s soul is too costly for mere men.....the richest man in the world could never afford it.  

The cost that God demanded was perfection, but all have sinned and fallen short of necessary price. And no One except the Son of God could live a perfect sinless life. The Bible tells us that he was tempted in every way that we were yet remained without sin.

We cannot of ourselves purchase redemption! It is too costly!

So what are we to do? If we can’t afford eternal life. How can we be redeemed?

“He must always give up  (9)  in order to live forever and never see the pit.  

In order to escape hell, we must always give up. Did you catch the word “always?” There is no other way. We must always stop trying to earn our salvation on our own. We must always give up totally on ourselves and our self-perceived goodness and rely solely on the grace of God.

 Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

. (10)  Indeed, one can see that wise people die, that foolish and stupid people meet the same end. (The grave is the lot for the wise, the rich, the poor, the and the foolish...the lot of us all should the Lord tarry)

They leave their riches to others.  (And perhaps some of their worldly wisdom is left behind, in libraries, or their goods and accomplishments preserved in museums.)
(11) Their inner thought is that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands (and streets) after their own names. (Their only hope is some sort of a legacy.)

(12) Nevertheless (think all you want, but the truth is....) man though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish.

Think about it. Not many people leave a legacy. There aren’t many Vince Lombardi’s out there, and even if they have left a legacy....what good is it doing them now?  In the eternal scope of things, is God really impressed with the Green Bay Packers or Lombardi trophies?

(13)  This is the final outcome for fools and their followers who are delighted by what they say:
(The final outcome of those who don’t give up on themselves for their salvation is they perish like beasts, like a raccoon crossing the road at night and eventually all traces are gone.) Selah   Selah added so that we all might pause and think about what has been said.

“We must always give up if we don’t want to end up in the pit.”

(14)  Like sheep, they are driven to hell with death as their shepherd. (Kind of an anti 23rd Psalm here. “death is my shepherd and I shall want” Oh that it would be as pleasant as getting run over by a truck, oh if that would just be the end of it, but it’s not.

Like sheep, their souls are driven to hell, a place of eternal torment, where souls will beg just for a drop of water on their tongue for relief)  

(Decent people will rule them in the morning.) (The morning speaks of the second coming of Christ and the decent people are those who are with Christ, those who have given up everything and followed Him. By everything, we mean every delusion that somehow they can make it to heaven on what they have done in this life. Those who think that they can enter heaven without faith in Christ)

The “rule” of the decent people,  is tied to their relationship with Christ, the Judge. Everything He does, they do, because they are in Him, and since He judges (rules) they judge or rule those who have rejected His grace.

“ Their forms will decay in the grave, far away from their comfortable homes. (Again I take you back to the rich man that Jesus spoke of. He lived in a comfortable home and refused food to the beggar Lazarus. He who once was comfortable, now begged for a drop of water from the hand of Lazarus, who was now enjoying eternal comfort.

 (15)  But God will buy me back from the power of hell because he will take me. (This is the lot of the believer. Purchased by the blood of Jesus, and giving up on himself, he is redeemed from the power of hell. Instead of his soul being driven to hell, the Bible tells us that his soul is carried to God by angels.  Selah
(Chew on that for a while. God has bought you back from the power of hell, through the death and resurrection of His sinless Son Jesus Christ)

(16)  Do not be afraid when someone becomes rich, when the greatness of his house increases.  (17)  He will not take anything with him when he dies. (Have you ever seen a U-haul following a hearse?)

Look at all those things the Pharaoh’s sought to bring with them when they died! Where are they now?

“His greatness cannot follow him.” His legacy doesn’t follow him either! I dare not say anything about the whereabouts of Vince Lombardi’s soul, except that if he did not completely give up on himself and trust in Christ for his salvation....he is in hell. And if he is in hell, not one of his fellow citizens cares about the fact that he is Vince Lombardi......they would kill him if they could, for a drop of water.

  (18)  Even though he blesses himself while he is alive (and they praise you when you do well for yourself),  (19)  he must join the generation of his ancestors, who will never see light again.  

Never see light again? The fate of those who have not given up on themselves and surrendered to Christ? I think that deserves another Selah. “No more light...ever”

(20) Man who is in honor (held in high esteem by this world) yet does not understand (that he must always give up on himself and trust Christ) is like the beasts that perish......(there is no difference.)

Easter is a great time to contemplate the realities of this Psalm. Jesus paid a high price in order for you to hear this message this morning. In order for you to hear His invitation to give up on yourself and trust Him. According to our OT lesson, He was unbelievably disfigured by the lashings and beating He took

 Isa 52:14  So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;  15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.

But because He died on the cross and rose from the dead........., Kings, .......that’s another way of saying Gentiles like you and me, get to hear (be sprinkled with) the Good News of the Gospel. And if we are willing to receive it, our mouths will be closed. (we’ll stop bragging on ourselves, give up on ourselves, and start trusting in Him alone for our salvation!

As our gospel reading today so simply but powerfully stated. He is risen! He’s not here. He has been brought back to life just as He said he would be. And as the Apostle Paul reported. He now holds the highest position in heaven, far above all things. Everything has been put under the control of Christ. Where He now rules with every dearly departed believer.

Just  before He ascended into heaven, He told His disciples that “all authority had been given to Him on heaven and earth.” He meant that the Good News of salvation by trusting in His death and resurrection alone would now be unleashed.  

And if you are ready to receive it, it has been unleashed here this morning. And we pray with the Apostle Paul from our epistle lesson that, God would give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that this truth might be revealed to you today.  

That you might today, give up on yourself....and trust in Him. He is worthy to be trusted because the grave was empty! He is risen! He is risen indeed.