This morning, I read Psalm 150 and immediately I began to wonder.
Read the Psalm.
I’m sharing the prayer I prayed after reading it. It was such a sweet time–I’m overcome just thinking about it.
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:1-6, ESV)
Lord Jesus, I know that before you left heaven to come to earth you were constantly praised, and that now even more (if that is possible) you are praised. But I wonder about some things.
How was it when you returned, after having come to earth? When Peter and the other disciples saw you disappear out of their sight, were the angels leaning over the balcony of heaven awaiting your arrival? When you entered heaven (however that happened) did you walk down the main street, paved with gold, and was it completely quiet at first? Did they notice your scarred hands and feet and wonder how you could love somebody else that much? Scripture says angels “long to look into these things.” Did they whisper to one another, “look at him. I can’t believe he did what he did. I can’t believe what they did to him!”
And how did the Father respond? I know they praised you then in your mighty heavens and they are praising you now.
I will join them and praise you for your mighty deeds! Praise you for saving a sinner like me, for becoming one of me that I might join you there some day. Praise you that, when I was dead in my sin, a self-centered 15-year-old, you cared enough to get my attention, draw me to yourself, and cause me to be born again unto a living hope. I praise you that you went to “prepare a place for me” and that one day I will be with you. Lord, I praise you for all the reckless sinners you have turned into redeemed saints. I praise you that the work you began in me, and so many others, you will bring to completion until the day you return. I praise you for your mighty deeds.
Jesus I praise you for your excellent greatness. You were oppressed and afflicted but you did not open your mouth. Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, you did not open your mouth. By oppression and judgment you were taken away and stricken for the transgression of your people. They made your grave with the wicked (those criminals who hung by your side) and you were with a rich man in your death (Joseph of Arimathea), although you had done no violence and there was no deceit in your mouth. And this is hard for me to fathom, but according to Isaiah, it was the will of God to crush you…but also the will of God to prosper you.
It seems that the Psalmist pulls out all the stops when he describes the instruments that are used to worship you. One day Jesus, one glorious day, we will praise you. We will not, on that day, have the inhibition of sin, the disruption of life, the difficulty of despair. On that day we will not be thwarted by fear, burdened by guilt, weighed down with the cares of this world. On that day, the angels will be silent as the redeemed of the Lord (and yes, by your great grace that’s me…hard to believe but that’s me!) march into heaven. And like one large choir we will join our voices together and sing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Revelation 5)
(I then listened to this song…I’m convinced a foretaste of heaven. You’ll see why 22 million others have listened too)