Psalm 61:2b Lead me to the rock that is higher than I am.
The Elephant Rocks in Missouri have long been an attraction for our family. Becky and I took our children there when they were small. Of all the places we took our children, the elephant rocks seem to have made the biggest impression. Now they take their children to climb about on those huge reddish-brown boulders.
Translations differ in how they present ps. 61:2b in English. The ESV has the psalmist, whose strength has given out, asking God to “Lead me to a rock…higher than I am.” REB, “Lift me up and set me high on a rock.”
In scripture God is often referred to as the “Rock of salvation.” St. Paul, in I Corinthians 10:4, writes of Christ being a rock that followed the Israelites through their desert Journey from Egypt, “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” God the Rock is a source of spiritual sustenance, safety and provides a firm foundation for life.
At Easter we remember that Christ the Rock of our salvation could not be contained by a tomb carved into the rock nor even by a sealed and guarded rock at its entrance.
As we approach the Gospel for this coming Sunday we encounter the group of Jesus’ followers fearfully hiding behind locked doors. The early Christians who found much of Christ in the book of Isaiah, at that moment did not remember Isaiah 44:8, “Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock, I know not any.”
Lord, I may no longer be able to clamber over the Elephant rocks of Missouri, but when I am fearful, set me upon the rock higher than my fears, even Jesus Christ the Rock of my salvation.