We often hear Psalm 8 referenced, because there is a clear reference to the Messiah, and that is right for us to observe. At the same time, there are other beautiful blessings in this Psalm that we shouldn’t overlook. The Psalmist makes an incredible point: “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him…?” (Psalm 8:3-4a).
Let’s put this in perspective. Here are some facts from Louis Giglio’s Indescribable presentation to help us out:
If you look at a picture of the Milky Way galaxy, our entire solar system is so small, you can’t see it. If our solar system was the size of a quarter, the Milky Way galaxy is the size of the entire North American continent. The Milky Way galaxy is measured in lightyears. The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. That means that a beam of light can circle the earth seven times every second. Multiply that with how many seconds there are in a year, a lightyear is 5,874,904,512,000 miles. That’s just one light year. The diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years. The Milky Way consists of billions of stars, if you would count the stars in the Milky Way, one star per second, it would take you 2,500 years to count them all.
The earth is just one of eight planets that orbit the sun. And the sun is one of the billions of stars is our galaxy, not even the biggest one. At its surface, it is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It only takes seconds for its light to reach the earth 93,000 miles away. You could fit 960,000 earths into the sun.
There’s another star 427 lightyears away called, Betelgeuse, and you could fit 262 trillion earths into it. There’s another star called Mu Cephei, 3,000 lightyears away, and you could fit 2.7 quadrillion earths into it. The largest known star in the universe is Canus Majoris, and you can fit 7 quadrillion earth’s into it. And again: that’s just one star among billions of stars in one galaxy out of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the known universe.
So, again, “What is man that You are mindful of Him?” Let’s have our minds blown some more. On this tiny little planet called earth, tiny little humans decided to rebel against this good and righteous Creator of the universe. All of them, including you and me, deserved His righteous wrath on their sin for all eternity. And yet the LORD, the One who made the heavens, the One who set in place the moon and the stars, came down from His place of glory and was born in a feeding trough. To a poor family in scandal. Raised in a town of ill repute. Lived a life of sorrow. Rejected by men. Hated by the very people He came to save. Wrongfully accused. Beaten. Brutally scourged. Beard plucked out. Crown of thorns forced onto His head. Mocked. Spat-upon. Eventually hung on a Roman cross.
Do you know how Roman crucifixion worked? It was so brutal, so shameful that only non-Roman citizens and the worst of criminals received the sentence. The criminal would be beaten and scourged first. They would then carry the heavy vertical beam to the place of execution. They would then connect the vertical beam to the horizontal one, then drive nails through the criminals wrists, put their feet together and drive a nail through them as well. They would then raise the cross as the criminal hangs. The criminal would not die from blood loss. Some could survive for days before succumbing to the torture. The position that the criminal was put into made it very difficult to breathe. And so, in order to take in a breath, he would need to push up against the nails in his feet, pull up on the nails in his wrists, and feel the splintered wood scrape against his scourged back. And this would repeat until the criminal suffocated to death. This is what the Savior, the maker of the heavens, endured for sinners like you and me.
But that’s not even the worst of it. You know that feeling of guilt and shame and heaviness when we sin against God? Imagine that multiplied by the countless sins you commit in your life. Now imagine that multiplied by the multitudes of people for whom Jesus died. Jesus took on all of that on Himself. And He faced it alone.
But that’s not even the worst of it. For all the sins of all of God’s elect from the beginning of time till the end of the earth, the Father punished His Son as if it were He who committed them all. Imagine all the wrath that all of us deserve poured on Him while He hung on the cross. It wasn’t just the physical torment. Or the psychological suffering. It was the spiritual punishment of hell being poured out onto Him, from His Father against whom He never sinned. And it was all to save His people. How do you know if you’re one of those people? If, by His grace, you trust in Him for salvation. Again, if you have not done that before tonight, now is the time to do. Believe on Him, and join me in eternal joy in His beautiful presence.
- Psalm 8
- Genesis 8:20-9:19
- 1 Chronicles 9
- Luke 5:1-6:16