Monday, July 31, 2017

"I Need My Bible to Endure My Cross"

Psalm 22:1, 14, 16b-18 NKJV

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

“I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.”

“They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

‘Messianic Psalm’ 22 [1] prophetically details the graphic horror of Jesus’ last hours on the cross. Imagine the physical torment of crucifixion coupled with the sense of betrayal in the Son of God’s desperate plea: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus “endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12.2 NLT). How did He do it? 

Approximately 1,000 years elapsed between the writing of Psalm 22 and the death of Christ. This fact helps to support the claim of the reliability of both the original psalm and the gospel records of Christ’s death. There’s an underlying assumption among conservative Christians that ‘Messianic’ psalm texts were written for the benefit of future believers who would look back and connect the prophetic dots 3,000 years after the original writing which had its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

I am not quibbling with the conclusion that the Hebrew scriptures point to Jesus as the Messiah. However I think there may have been a greater purpose for this ‘Messianic Psalm’ than to reinforce the faith of modern Christians. Perhaps God inspired the writing of Psalm 22 for the particular purpose of strengthening Jesus Christ’s faith and resolve while He suffered death by a crucifixion predestined to occur one millennium later.

Imagine young Jesus learning Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) and memorizing large portions of the Hebrew scriptures. The psalm of David quoted above did not have chapter and verse designations like we find in our Bibles today. Copies of the passage were painstakingly made on scrolls and kept in local synagogues throughout Palestine. Rabbis read or quoted the scrolls to assist Hebrew boys in learning the word of God. Jesus must have known this psalm by heart and probably called upon it in His time of most dire need… while suffering on the cross. If it were not for the direct encounter with His Father Jesus was able to maintain through the repetition and meditation of God’s word, He could not have “endured the cross, disregarding its shame.”  
The Hebrew Scriptures were indispensable in the success of Christ’s mission to save the world.

What I must endure is much less than the sufferings of Christ. Nevertheless, I am called by Christ to pick up my much smaller cross each day and follow Him.

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself,
and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
Luke 9.23 NASU

If Jesus needed His Bible to endure His cross, how much more do I need my Bible to endure my cross?
_______________

[1] While psalm 22 is the primary "Messianic Psalm" in the book of Psalms, so called because of its apparent allusion to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross, it is not the only psalm with messianic elements or verses.  See also Psalms 2, 8, 16, 24, 31, 34, 40, 41, 45, 68, 69, 72, 80, 89, 91, 102, 109, 110, 118, and 132. 

5 comments:

One Sided said...

THis morning I was at loss for a response to a person who asked, why does the world always seem to kick me when I am already down.

I am no longer at a loss.

JOV said...

Brother Amen to this.

I tell you, if I miss reading my bible one day I feel the stone start to attack my heart once again. I need to be continually renewing my mind daily.

Romans 12:2 NASB And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Dave Scriven said...

Daily renewal of the mind... that's what our Christian walk is all about. Thanks for the comment, Kevin.

Dc DANIEL FILHO said...

HI DAVE!

HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? HERE, BRAZIL, ARE WELL. I LIKED THIS POST.
WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HERE IN BRAZIL.
GOD CONTINUE BLESSING YOU.

PEACE OF THE LORD!!!

Dave Scriven said...

Thank you Daniel.