“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” -Psalm 16:10
Psalm 16 is a favorite Psalm of mine. What an outcome it describes for those who have the LORD as their “portion and cup,” who “set the LORD always before” them (Psalm 16:5,8,11)!
Psalm 16 is also a Messianic Psalm, proclaiming Christ and His resurrection, as both Peter and Paul affirm in Acts 2:22-28 and Acts 13:33-35.
I want to experience the fullness of joy that can only come from being in God’s presence, the eternal pleasures I can only find at His right hand. But I now get mere sips instead of full, satisfying gulps from this cup of blessing—partly because I’m still stuck on fallen Earth, and also (mostly) because my unresurrected self is not nearly so focused on Him and His presence as I’d like to be. I need a steadier aim.
Jesus’ aim was perfect, and unwavering. We owe our future hope to that perfection of purpose He maintained. His path led not just to suffering and death, but beyond, to resurrection and ascension—victory over death.
Jesus was not just a martyr, his body still lying in the grave. He is the risen Savior. Without His resurrection (as proclaimed in the two Apostles’ speeches referenced above) His death would give us no hope to aim for (1 Corinthians 15:14). Psalm 16:10 pre-announces his rising from the grave (Sheol), and the Gospels all give eye-witness accounts of it.
This was Christ’s targeted final destination, for Himself and for us: resurrection, then ascension, which Psalm 16:11 pictures with joy. Hebrews 12:2 says “For the joy set before Him, he endured the cross.” And the ultimate aim of His whole earthly life was to please the Father, abiding in Him constantly and serving as the vehicle for Him to work His will on Earth (John 5:19). He looked to the Father in the continual way Psalm 16:8 describes.
So let my aim be. My attention can so easily get drawn to earthly endeavors and petty to-do lists. May the LORD be more and more constantly before my face, my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith (Heb 12:2). After all, just as He told His disciples before going to the cross, apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5). And when earthbound life gets rough and suffering becomes inevitable as part of the path Christ leads me on, let me, like Christ, look beyond the grief and pain to the ultimate outcome: a resurrected life to enjoy in His presence forevermore.