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Stop at the Crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
Jeremiah 6:16

July 30, 2017

The Gospel in the Old Testament: Photograph of the Cross

The Old Testament's Psalm 22 is quoted by Jesus on the cross, and is a powerful photograph of the sufferings Jesus willingly underwent for us. This should produce a dramatic effect upon us.

Matthew 27:15-54
Psalm 22:1-19

    "Thou:" I can understand why traitorous Judas and timid Peter should be gone, but thou, my God, my faithful friend, how canst thou leave me? This is worst of all, yea, worse than all put together. Hell itself has for its fiercest flame the separation of the soul from God.
    ...he could only utter moanings and groanings as men do in severe sicknesses, like the roarings of a wounded animal. To what extremity of grief was our Master driven? What strong crying and tears were those which made him too hoarse for speech! What must have been his anguish to find his own beloved and trusted Father standing afar off, and neither granting help nor apparently hearing prayer! This was good cause to make him "roar."
    But I am a worm, and no man. This verse is a miracle in language. How could the Lord of glory be brought to such abasement as to be not only lower than the angels, but even lower than men. What a contrast between "I AM" and "I am a worm"! yet such a double nature was found in the person of our Lord Jesus when bleeding upon the tree. He felt himself to be comparable to a helpless, powerless, down trodden worm, passive while crushed, and unnoticed and despised by those who trod upon him. He selects the weakest of creatures, which is all flesh; and becomes, when trodden upon, writhing, quivering flesh, utterly devoid of any might except strength to suffer. This was a true likeness of himself when his body and soul had become a mass of misery - the very essence of agony - in the dying pangs of crucifixion.
    Turning from his enemies, our Lord describes his own personal condition in language which should bring the tears into every loving eye. I am poured out like water. He was utterly spent, like water poured upon the earth; his heart failed him, and had no more firmness in it than running water, and his whole being was made a sacrifice, like a libation poured out before the Lord. He had long been a fountain of tears; in Gethsemane his heart welled over in sweat, and on the cross he gushed forth with blood; he poured out his strength and spirit, so that he was reduced to the most feeble and exhausted state.
    Thou hast brought me into the dust of death; so tormented in every single part as to feel dissolved into separate atoms, and each atom full of misery; the full price of our redemption was paid, and no part of the Surety's body or soul escaped its share of agony. The words may set forth Jesus as having wrestled with Death until he rolled into the dust with his antagonist. Behold the humiliation of the Son of God! The Lord of Glory stoops to the dust of death.
Sermon discussion topics for parents to use with their children:
  • Why can Psalm 22 be called a photograph of the cross?
  • What hit you as you listened to Jesus' sufferings described?
  • How did the illustration of the man who went to prison for what his dog did fit into the sermon?
  • Why should this all have a dramatic impact upon us that is
    1. Pervasive?
    2. Always?
    3. Forever?

Pastor Todd Jaussen
Crossroads Christian Fellowship Church
Greenville, PA

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