Here are two passages that stood out to me this morning. They are connected.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
I believe “the work of your hands” refers very specifically here to the body of Jesus. And, if you search the scriptures (Genesis 1:6-8, Exodus 25:9, 40, 1 Chronicles 28:19, Psalm 19:1, Psalm 78:69, Hebrews 10:5 for starters) you will find that Jesus’ body is connected to both the veil of the temple and the expanse between heaven and earth.
Jesus’ purpose in coming was to reconnect heaven and earth, the spiritual and the natural, to create a dwelling place for God in man. So, the torn veil and the opening of the expanse between heaven and earth symbolize his broken body that provided a way for this reconnection to take place. In Psalm 138, Jesus declares that this purpose will be fulfilled.
This leads to the second portion of scripture that stood out to me this morning.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
We see the link here with the passage from Psalm 138 in that this passage from Psalm 139 is also talking about the work of God’s hands. But, there are two different parts to the work that are done in two different places. The first part of the work is done in “my mother’s womb” while the second part of the work is done in “the depths of the earth.” Interesting.
Reading the psalms as Jesus’ prayers, I think the first work refers to his earthly body. God formed and knitted Jesus in his mother’s womb for a work on this earth.
But, then the scene shifts to the depths of the earth. Here, Jesus says his “frame” was not hidden from God and God saw his “unformed substance.” These are the only two uses of the Hebrew words for frame and unformed substance in the Old Testament. Seems like this is speaking of something unique and different. Note, too, that Jesus says this was being done in secret. So, I think this is a picture of Jesus’ resurrection body, his glorified body, being prepared by God after the cross in Jesus’ death. Jesus was transfigured or transformed, which the disciples got a glimpse of before his death and then saw the reality of after the resurrection. It’s out of death that the life of God springs forth, which is an idea repeated over and over scripture.
Jesus then says that all his days, even though none of them had taken place yet, were written in God’s book. This book, the Bible, was written by God and given to us to bear witness of Jesus. It is a testimony of all the days that God planned for him.