Pope Benedict arrived in Israel. His day included a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem.
1Have mercy on me, god, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my sins.
2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4Against you, you only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in your sight; for you will be justified in your reproof, triumphant in your judgments.
5For look, I was formed in iniquity; and in sin, my mother conceived me.
6Look, you desire truth, and the hidden things of your wisdom you have made known to me.
7Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Satisfy me with your joy and gladness, that my broken spirit may rejoice.
9Turn your face away from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, god, and renew a right spirit inside me.
11Do not cast me away from your presence; and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your glorious spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors your way, and sinners will be converted to you.
14Deliver me from bloodshedding, god, god of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15Master, open my lips, and my mouth will show forth your praise;
16for you do not desire sacrifice; you do not delight in burnt offerings.
17The sacrifices of god are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, god, you will not despise.
18Do good in your good pleasure to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then you will be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then they will offer gifts on your altar.
Pope Benedict had been in Middle East for the better part of 3 days. Until this date he had been in Jordan, where he officiated over mass at Jordan's largest stadium and had visited Mount Nebo, the mountain of Moses.
On this date, May 11, 2009, he flew to Tel Aviv from Jordan and then helicoptered up the hill to Jerusalem. The term "Zion" and the name of the city, Jerusalem, given in verse 18, are both references to the modern city of Jerusalem, the location of the Pope's first stop in Israel.
As with many first-visits of foreign dignitaries, his Jewish hosts accompanied the Pope to Yad Vashem, "Memorial of Names" the Jewish Holocaust memorial center at Jerusalem. He was scheduled into Yad Vashem at noon, local time, several hours ahead of theoretical for this Psalm.
The Pope's speech was focused on the names of the victims, a feature of the memorial and the meaning of its name, "Memorial of Names." The Pope also references the process of choosing a new name, which happened for all the victims when they were born. Names are given to people when they are born. The Psalm for this date speaks of the conception (and by implication birthing) process in verse 5, helping to confirm this as the fulfillment headline.
The Holocaust itself, and all of World War II in general, is a timed prophetic replay of the crucifixion of Jesus. This is well beyond our limited scope in this article. Briefly, the problem was that most of the parties involved in World War II, including most Germans, most Jews, and many others from across the continent, and around the world, where NOT under the blood of Jesus and therefore had no atonement. It is a general truth that when you're not under Jesus' shed blood, you will be under your own, which is what happened nationally in the 1940s. Jesus' atonement is why verse 16 speaks of not desiring sacrifice or burnt offering, since atonement has already been supplied.
The challenge of understanding what is going on with this headline revolves around assigning the parties. On the one hand is the Pope, dressed in his standard white robes, and on the other the various Jewish dignitaries who have accompanied him to the memorial.
The party dressed in white was the Pope himself, symbolic for the Christian world, those redeemed by the blood of the lamb. That white robe is mentioned specifically in verse 7.
The other party, the modern State of Israel, is the lost tribe of Benjamin, who was born at the death of his mother, the matched Bible story for the story of verse 5. Benjamin's mother died because she stole the household gods of her father. His hunt for those idols was the subject of considerable tension between Jacob and Laban.
This is what the Pope is referencing, though he may not be personally aware, he is speaking prophetically to the truth of history. The tribe of Benjamin has been through similar holocausts, including that covered near the end of the Book of Judges.
The purpose of the memorial is to help keep a similar event from ever happening again, the same theme as in verse 14.
The Pope did "rekindle" the fire in the memorial, and the use of fire is mentioned 2 times in the Psalm, first in verse 16, and then again in verse 19. Which of these fires is the fire in the memorial. Is it the fire of an offering? Is it the fire of Pentecost?
The Pope's trip to the United States was highly prophetic of the financial crisis which unfolded on dates patterned after each of his public appearances.
His trip to Australia had a similar pattern, with massive fires breaking out across much of the country in the months that followed.
The day-for-a-year time line sees the modern day-for-a-year replay of the holocaust before the end of 2009. Pray it passes without incident.