I don’t know exactly what your phone looks like or more specifically what you choose to keep on your phone. If your phone is anything like mine, I am guessing you keep pictures stored on your device. My phone actually holds an embarrassing number of photos and videos, mostly of my two toddlers, which I back up to a cloud-based storage system. Once the photos are backed up, I delete the files from my phone—which then allows me to fill it back up again with more pictures and videos. Honestly, this probably says more about the limits of my self-control than anything else.
Reflecting on Photographs
Especially in a season of raising little people, I find myself constantly wanting to capture moments that I will want to look back on many years from today—their little smiles when they do something on their own for the first time, for example. I have taken pictures and videos of their first steps, outings to different parks, and moments of play that capture their personalities. You get the idea! Lately, my daughter has even started taking pictures and filling my phone with pictures of mostly nothing—except for every now and again when she manages to capture her feet. I quickly find myself wanting to save even those poor quality pictures of her tiny toes.
Details matter. Details are what give memories life and make a memory feel like it wasn’t so long ago. Without baby pictures to look back on, I doubt I would remember as much about bath times, what they did with their arms when they slept, or the face a family member made when meeting them for the first time. Desiring to look back on these kinds of details and moments are part of what makes Scripture such a gift to us. We have the ability to scroll through the details of God’s redemptive story and remember what He did for us through Jesus.
Reflecting on Psalm 22
In the Book of Psalms, we have a chapter to help us focus on some details surrounding the end of Jesus’ life. This month, each day will focus on one verse from Psalm 22. You may recognize some of the familiar words from this reading commonly used during Holy Week. Like the details I want to remember about my own children’s daily lives when I look back at pictures, we get to look back at Scripture to remind ourselves of the details of Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Psalm 22 gives us insight into the feelings that Jesus was confronted with as He suffered on our behalf. It details the physical feelings of His bones being out of joint and His mouth being dried up. It details His emotional state of feeling alone and forsaken. We are reminded that everyone had turned against Jesus in those final moments, including His own Father. He was surrounded by a “company of evildoers” (v. 16) who would pierce His hands and feet. Detail after detail in this chapter allows us to draw near to this redemptive moment of God at work.
Taking time to study these details bring the crucifixion to life in a way that might feel uncomfortable or intense as you truly consider the words of the psalmist. Without these details, we might miss out on the gravity of the work He did on our sinful behalf. Looking back allows us to better grasp the words of Paul found in Romans 6:5–11 (emphasis added):
For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raise from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also most consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
May you see Scripture, especially Psalm 22 this month, as a way to be present at the foot at the cross. The details of those moments are all there for you to relive. As you view this picture, be reminded that, because of what Jesus did, God does not look back on the details of your life and see sin. He looks at the details of your life and remembers only Jesus.
To start your daily journey through Psalm 22 in March, download the Everyday Faith Calendar below.