Compare and contrast Psalm 31:5 and Luke 23:46. Does the New Testament maintain what the Hebrew Bible declares in Psalm 31:5? Why or why not?

Quick answer:

Psalm 31:5 and Luke 23:46 are similar in that both David and Jesus recommit themselves to God as they face dire struggles. They are different in that Jesus issues his declaration right before his death while David makes his proclamation as he evades his potential killers.

Expert Answers

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A comparison between Psalm 31:5 and Luke 23:46 could center on the steadfast faith of David and Jesus. In Psalm 31:5, David affirms his belief in God. Despite his struggles, David is convinced that God will look out for him and protect his spirit from harm. In Luke 23:46, Jesus makes a similar affirmation. On the cusp of death, Jesus reinforces his commitment to God. As with David in Psalm 31:5, Jesus surrenders control to God.

One might contrast Psalm 31:5 and Luke 23:46 by examining the different circumstances in which David and Jesus each feel compelled to put themselves completely in God's care. In Luke 23, Jesus has been captured. His enemies have caught and crucified him. Luke 23:46 comprises his dying words. In Psalm 31, David’s antagonists have not apprehended him. He is not in hands of, depending on one’s interpretation, the jealous King Saul or his scheming son Absalom. David is not in good shape. He’s losing his vision, his strength, and his spirit is taking a beating. Yet David is not a moment away from death, unlike Jesus in Luke 23:46.

It’s possible to argue that the New Testament maintains what the Hebrew Bible is declaring in Psalm 31:5 since the basic message of both is, in times of trouble, one must surrender themselves to the mercy of God. However, Jesus’s divinity makes it feasible to contend that the meaning changes.

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