Psalm 51 is a beautiful section of scripture written by King David after Nathan calls him out for his sins of adultery and murder. He was a man who loved God and knew God’s love for him. There is no doubt that he was feeling the weight of his transgression as he wrote the words of this prayer. He was broken.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
-Psalm 5 : 4-8
In verse 8 David says to the Lord, “let the bones you have broken rejoice!” Some Bible translations even use the word “crushed.” He was crushed, yet desired to rejoice because he knew God and therefore he knew he could have something that he did not deserve. Forgiveness.
It was the betrayal of another that began to give me to a deeper understanding of the forgiveness I have in Christ. I was feeling broken. I might even say crushed. Someone that I loved and trusted had proven himself far from trustworthy. But what really changed my heart was when God broke me over my own sin.
He lovingly revealed to me that I was sinfully harboring unforgiveness against another. He used the unfaithfulness of another to show me my unfaithfulness to him. From birth I was a sinner in need of a Savior.
David knew and I know that there is nothing I can do to make up for the wrongs I have done, but our sin is not the end of the story. We were given grace despite what we deserve and that causes my soul to rejoice. Jesus joyfully went to the cross for us, to forgive us for every evil offense we have and will ever do against him.
Every unkind word I have spoken - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
Every nasty thought that has crossed my mind - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
Every judgmental look - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
Every selfish motive - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
Every time I fail to show love and grace to another - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
Every time I have placed an idol above him - Forgiven. How can my soul not rejoice?
And here’s the crazy thing - he didn’t just forgive us, his bones were crushed for our sins.
But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.
Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole.
The injuries he suffered became our healing.
We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep,
scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits;
The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer,
the sins of us all.
- Isaiah 53 : 5-6 (The Voice)
When a broken bone first heals there is a thick callus that forms around the area making it stronger in that period of trauma. I believe that to be true in this application as well.
When we are broken over our sin, we know the strength of the only one who can heal us. Allow Jesus to break you today, to feel the weight of your sin against the Lord alone. But do not stop there. Let your broken bones rejoice!
Where you are broken there is healing. You do not have to carry the weight of guilt and shame. Jesus endured the ultimate breaking so that we could live with him for all of eternity. How can our souls not rejoice?