I had a graduation speech once. The title was "In a nutshell." It made the headlines of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. The idea for this speech came from a book I was reading at the time written by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People. At the end of every section, he had a summary titled, "In a nutshell." The term "in a nutshell" means in a few words, concisely, summed up briefly. As you see in the picture, I dressed in a walnut nutshell I made. We all thoroughly enjoyed the speech.
Today I read Psalm 130. It is the Gospel in a nutshell. Here is what it says
Out of the depths, I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
Do you see the elements of the Gospel?
There is the cry for mercy
There is the question, "If there were a record kept of sins, who can stand?
There is the response, "With you there is forgiveness."
There is worship, "You are feared."
There is the waiting for redemption: "My soul waits for the Lord. I put my hope in his word."
There is the call to others, "O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption."
I love the last line, "He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins." Matthew picks up this thought when he writes, "She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (Yahweh saves/Yahweh is salvation) because he will save his people from their sins."
Now here is the Gospel in a nutshell: Jesus saves his people from their sins.
Let us cry to the Lord for mercy today. Let us wait for the Lord. Let us put our hope in his word for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
"He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins."