Kia Ora, Cambridge Baptist and friends.
I trust that you are enjoying level 3. I certainly noticed the increased traffic when I went for a walk yesterday and of course passed by a coffee shop.
For those who have been tuning into my blogs over the last few days, you will be aware that I have been taking a journey through the psalms. Today I have been meditating on psalm 22.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”
In many ways Psalm 22 is one of the most amazing of Psalms. In it we have a picture of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus painted by the psalmist David one thousand years before Jesus Christ was born. It constitutes one of the most amazing predictions of all time.
At least nine specific events or aspects of the crucifixion are described here in minute detail. All of them were fulfilled during the hours in which Jesus hung upon the cross.
The psalm also clearly depicts the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The probability that the predictions of these nine events would be fulfilled by chance in one person, is inconceivably small. The chance that all this could occur by accident is beyond any realm of possibility our minds could imagine. Yet all were fulfilled as predicted in this amazing psalm.
To put it in perspective, consider how this COVID-19 crisis has taken us all by surprise. No one would have predicted that the whole world would be ravaged in the way it has been, and that it would even affect people like the British Prime Minister. But suppose there had been in existence a document that predicted not only the virus, but how many people would be infected and that it would strike down the leader of one of the world’s great nations and we knew it had been written in AD 1020. That was about the time of the height of the Byzantine Empire, when most of the Western world was ruled from Constantinople, much of Europe was only sparsely inhabited by barbarian tribes, and the first wave of the Maori settlement of Aotearoa had yet to begin. Virus’ hadn’t even been discovered.
You can imagine with what awe such a document would be viewed today. Such a prediction would be impressive, but not as impressive as what we have in Psalm 22.
When we read psalm 22 it reminds us that while things might take us by surprise, nothing surprises God. He has a plan that is unfolding through the sweep of history. But it should also remind us afresh of the agony and torment that Jesus suffered for us - so we could be eternally rescued from such pain and torment. We should never forget that physical suffering is a metaphor for how sin corrupts and hurts us spiritually. But Jesus’s willingness to suffer for us explains why the psalm ends with Him claiming the worship of the entire world. He alone is worthy to receive all honour and praise.
I encourage you to spend some time mediating on this psalm so the significance of it will sink deeply into your heart and soul.
Lord it is unfathomable to us what You endured on the cross. Thank You for Your willingness to suffer and die. May we give you the worship you so richly deserve.