The Shadow of Death

Read: John 19

Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” (John 19:11, NLT)

There is nothing in this world that happens apart from God’s sovereign knowledge and by his sovereign permission.

Jesus understood that as he stood before Pilate, who nervously tried to impress upon our Lord that he held the power to either crucify him or free him: “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” (John 19:10, NLT) That is when Jesus, who, up to this point, had held his peace, looked Pilate directly in the eye and informed him in no uncertain terms that even though he might be a high officer of the Roman court, he held no such power—only God did.

In the awful light of what Jesus had been through, and what he knew he was about to go through, what an amazing statement of not only understanding the sovereign will of God, but of complete trust and submission to it.  That was the reason Jesus could so calmly and resolutely traverse the terrible way of the cross.  And that is the reason you can walk through the difficulties of your life as well—even if your path takes you through the valley of the shadow of death. As King David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, KJV)

You can know what King David knew that our Lord knew: Because of God’s sovereign control over all the affairs of this universe, and because of his immeasurable love for you, this world is a perfectly safe place for you—even if you are standing before your cross.

Before you begin this day, take a moment to read the Shepherd’s Psalm printed below.  In fact, you may want to read it every day this week before you head off into the busyness and challenges of your world:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

“Much that worries us beforehand can afterwards, quite unexpectedly, have a happy and simple solution…Things really are in a better hand than ours.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What If God Took Over?

Memorize Psalm 23 from your favorite version of the Bible, and pray it each day this week.



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One thought on “The Shadow of Death

  1. Thank you for that blog. It means a lot.
    David was a true man of faith. He knew God in a real and meaningful way. God's mercy and grace were not strange to him. He was never high minded, and he always remembered that sin was in his life. He never tried to conceal this, except for Bathsheba and his adultery. He never silenced his critics. God was his defender. David was a man after God's own heart. Thank you for reminding us.