“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” —Psalm 2:11–12
When one bows before Yahweh’s Anointed it mustn’t be to conceal a grimace. Reluctant obedience doesn’t qualify as “rejoicing with trembling.” We must kiss the Son, but it must not be with the kiss of Judas. The kiss called for is the kiss of the woman in Luke 7.
“One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answering said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he answered, ‘Say it, Teacher.’ ‘A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.’ And he said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’ ” —Luke 7:36–50
This psalm calls for the wisdom of submission in light of the wrath of God’s Anointed. If, in light of that threatened wrath, you find the kiss hard to offer, ask yourself, where do you suppose one would kiss a king as a sign of submission? Likely his hands or his feet. Now, look at the hands and feet of God’s Anointed. They are pierced hands and pierced feet. The wrath the king threatens, He has borne. Jesus dishes out nothing that he hasn’t taken. The reason there is a refuge in Jesus is because He bears the storm we should be caught up in.
Sin is against the Triune God who is infinitely worthy. The astounding thing isn’t that we insurrectionists, we traitors, we rebels against the highest, most perfect, and lovely of Kings are to face wrath. The astounding thing is that the Father—who infinitely loves His Son above all, the Son we have hated—would give His Son to bear our punishment so that we might love the Son as He does. The astounding thing is that the Son—who has eternally loved His Father perfectly—would die for us sinners who have so blasphemed the Father, that we might see the Father as He does and glorify Him. The astounding thing is that the Holy Spirit—who perfectly loves the Father and Son—would come into our rebellious hearts, make them new, and fill them with love for the Father and the Son.
If you see how big your sins are, and how wondrous the Ruler’s promise of refuge to the repentant is, your kisses will be profuse, and you will hear, “Your sins are forgiven.”