A BLOG BY REV. MICHAEL C. LARSON: MEDITATIONS ON CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I Will Confess My Transgressions Unto The Lord
In Psalm 32 King David, prays, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Often times when we think of David from the Bible, we think of a mighty King - one of the great Fathers of our faith – a mighty warrior who defeated Goliath – a true man of God – a righteous King.He was all these things, warrior, poet, musician.He left us with the lovely Psalms.If there ever was a man who was in good shape with transgressions, it looks as though David was the one.
We may think of Michelangelo’s masterpiece Renaissance statue of David.Michelangelo’s statue shows David in noble contemplation.He is sculpted in perfect form -strong legs and full chest.He shows off his chiseled abdominals.You can even see veins bulging from his perfect and strong biceps.
His figure pulses with power and wisdom.He is an icon of strength and beauty.Over his left shoulder hangs his sling – the sling that he used to battle that hideous villain Goliath.Here is somebody who’s got it together.He is a leader.A man of strength.A man of God.A real spiritual type.
However, in the Psalm we prayed, which was written by David, we receive a different figure than Michelangelo’s great sculpture.We don’t see David as a mighty warrior who has it all together.We don’t see his ripped biceps and his righteous noble warrior pose. We see him lying down, face down buried, and groaning.Beside being a legendary warrior, he was also a legendary transgressor.As He lays down in His royal palace, among fine linen sheets, and all the luxuries of this world, He suffers the poverty of spiritual bankruptcy, and egregious sin.He cries out to God for forgiveness.
That towering statue does not look so towering after all.That warrior king David is reduced to a twisting, squirming, anxious sinner.And a poor miserable one at that.Beaten down by his own transgressions, his muscles do not bulge, and his noble face – his perfect facial features drop away – now bearing the expression of shame.
For all that stature and wisdom, that mighty warrior was unable to war against his own flesh.Though he battled and killed the greatest warrior in the land, he was unable to resist the mere sight of a naked woman.He took the lovely Bathsheba into his bed and sinned against her sexually.To cover up his mess he ordered that her husband be murdered so that he might take her as his own.
And now he had blood on his own hands.With David, this evening we sang with him in his confession, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.”Left alone with our sin, like David, our trespasses make our own strength dry up.We groan over our anxiety and lack of trust in his care.It is our own trespasses that separate from God and the loving relationship he wants to have with us.Sin get in the way every time.
David needed his sin forgiven.He was guilty in a web of adultery, deceit, and murder.And he needed that forgiveness not just once, but every day.The strongest of men, and the strongest of women need forgiveness. Though Michangelo’s statue of David, may be somewhat misleading in regards to His shameful run in with sin, it also contains a great deal of truth.David stands upright because Christ forgave his trespasses.He asked and he received.For he rejoiced in these words, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
He stands before God in heaven and all the angels, and before all of us as a blessed man- and a righteous one, because his sins were forgiven.He stands as a warrior because all his trespasses were hurled into the depths of the sea.He is noble and strong because he stands in the wisdom and strength of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately it was Jesus who hurled the final death blow to Goliath.For by going to the cross, he struck down all the powers of evil.Jesus has us rise from our knees and brings us to our feet, to grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.Like David, we are so very blessed because our transgressions are all forgiven.He turns are groaning into shouts of joy.He turns our silence in singing.
As St. Paul asks in Romans, “Who will bring any charge against us?”No one can.Like David, we have confessed our transgressions and the Lord forgive us.He makes us stand tall and bold like warrior kings – like Michangelo’s David – to stand as conquerors – and righteous ones – shaped and chiseled into the likeness of Christ.
And in the coming celebration of Easter, we do not have to groan anymore.For as Christ is raised we are sculpted into glorious saints in whom he delights.