The Passion

“To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

(Psa. 22:1-21)

We find in the first 21 verses, the suffering (22:1-21) followed by, in the final 10 verses, the glory (22:22-31), which we’ll cover at the end. This Psalm is one of the most sublime prophecies in the entire Bible. We have contained herein the intimate, inner thoughts of Christ Himself as He suffered on the cross. Plus, we have the spiritual torture that took place and the glory to come all wonderfully foretold. As we go through in chronological order the crucifixion of Christ, we’ll occasionally reference many of the verses in this Psalm.

The Procession Along the Via Dolorosa

Fast forward to Christ carrying His cross in His procession down the Via Dolorosa, which is the route through Jerusalem believed to be the path taken by Jesus on His way to Golgotha, which was roughly 650 yards away. Golgotha is a Hebrew word meaning, “the place of the skull.” Luke calls it “Calvary,” Latin for “skull”.

You might recall the state of Christ after His scourging. He was beaten. Bloody. By this point His beard had been ripped off His face fulfilling the Lord’s words in Isa. 50:6 in which He said, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” We’re reminded that Dr. Davis, in his article, pointed out that by this point, “the skin of His back is now an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue, stuck to His clothes, now adherent to all the clots of blood and serum in His wounds.” He also still had on His head, the crown of thorns, and there was, as Dr. Davis pointed out, “copious bleeding because the scalp is one of the most vascular areas of the body…”

And now, Dr. Davis writes that “The heavy patibulum (the crossarm weighing over one hundred pounds) is tied across His shoulders, and the procession… begins… along the Via Dolorosa. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of [His] shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance. [A] centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects… Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross….”

This moment with Simon of Cyrene is covered in all the Gospel accounts except John (Matt. 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luk. 23:26). Cyrene is northern coastal town in what is modern-day Libya, far west of Egypt, 1,148 miles west of Jerusalem. To be “of Cyrene” meant he was born there. I don’t believe he still lived there and traveled 1,148 miles to Jerusalem. At some point, he moved to live in the country near Jerusalem. Luke makes the point that he was just “coming out of the country” (Luke 23:26). He had just arrived from the country into Jerusalem for the Passover. After that journey, he shows up in Jerusalem and what happens? He is immediately confronted with the tortured, bloody, Messiah of Israel falling down right in front of him because He cannot physically carry His cross to Golgotha’s Hill. Then a Roman soldier compels Simon to help Christ bear His cross up that hill.

Next, Luke would tell us, “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him” (Luke 23:27). With Simon giving Jesus some relief by helping Him carry the crossarm, I suspect it was at this moment that Jesus actually found the strength to speak to the people. Luke tells us, “But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? (Luk 23:28-31). Luke is the only one to record these words.

The Lord clearly has Daniel’s 70th Week in view here, which requires little in the way of exegesis but what did the Lord mean when He said in Luke 23:31, “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” Daniel’s 70th Week is Israel’s baptism of fire, which John the Baptist referenced in Matt. 3:11-12. The wet, green trees naturally resist the fire, but the dry ones burn up. He’s telling the women to weep not for Him but rather, weep for those who will burn up during the Tribulation because that is surely coming.

He Arrives at Golgotha

When they arrive at Golgotha, Matthew and Mark highlight that they offered Jesus a drink of vinegar mixed with gall (Matt. 27:34, Mark 15:23), which was a fulfillment of prophecy. David wrote in Psa. 69:21, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Webster’s 1828 tells us that gall is “a yellowish green fluid, secreted in the glandular substance of the liver.”

Following this, Matthew and Mark wrote they stripped Him of His clothes (Matt. 27:35, Mark 15:24), except for a loincloth, which had been allowed by the Jews. Dr. Davis writes that “when His clothes, which had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in His wounds, is torn from His back, this causes excruciating pain, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage.”

Then they cast lots. This was a fulfillment of prophecy, of Psa. 22:18, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Matthew would actually quote that verse (Matt. 27:35), which would have been our first indication that Psa. 22 was all about the Lord’s crucifixion.

This is also the beginning of all the mocking. First, Matt. 27:36 would tell us that the people sat down to watch Him, and even in such a small detail as that, you can’t help but think of the prophesy of Isa 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” We find in Mar. 15:29-32, “And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross.Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.” We’d read similar accounts in Matt. 27:39-44 and Luke 23:35-37.

I’d argue that all of this mocking was a fulfillment of Psa. 22:6-8, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”

Plus, we also have in this moment the fulfillment of Isa 53:3. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Nailed to the Cross

After this, Christ is nailed to the cross. In this moment, we have the fulfillment of Psa. 22:16 in which David wrote, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” Dogs were the Gentiles, and He was surrounded by them. Interesting, that David prophesied the piercing of the Lord’s hands and feet 1,000 years before death by crucifixion had even been invented! Is it not absolutely jaw-dropping how that method of death was unknown to anyone when Psalm 22 was written?

Dr. Davis would write that “Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. (Crucifixes today show the nails through the palms. Roman historical accounts have shown that the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists and not through the palms. Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when they support the weight of a human body. The misconception may have come about through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, ‘Observe my hands.’ Anatomists, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrists as part of the hand.) The legionnaire drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood…. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms—the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again, there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet. As the arms fatigue, waves of cramps knot them in deep, relentless pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed, and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled…. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the lifegiving oxygen.”

Then Jesus speaks. “Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34). The fact that we have the Lord’s prayer next to this statement about the Roman soldiers parting His garments may well mean that the Lord was speaking of the Roman soldiers and not the people of Israel. His own people knew He was innocent. The Roman soldiers, on the other hand, were legitimately ignorant.

Lifted Up

Mark 15:25 would tell us that it was the third hour when He was crucified, meaning He was nailed to the cross and then lifted up. The third hour would be about 9:00 a.m., three hours after sunrise, and His time on that cross would roughly encompass six hours. He would be in the tomb before sundown on that Wednesday. The new day, Thursday, would begin around 6 p.m. after sundown. Thus, Christ would be buried three days and three nights. He would arise at some point after sundown Saturday evening and before sunrise Sunday morning.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke would explain that there were also two thieves, all saying “the one on his right hand, and the other on his left” (Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:33). Mark highlights that this is a fulfillment of Isa. 53:12, and he quotes part of that verse. Now many have pointed out that this also fulfilled Isa. 53:9, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Of course, the full verse of Isa. 53:12 reads, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

The Inscription

Next, we would learn about the inscription. John writes, “And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, ‘Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.Pilate answered, What I have written I have written’” (Joh. 19:19-22). Luke would also write about this inscription in Luke 23:38, but the wording is different. Luke would write that the inscription said that “written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew,” were the words, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” I suspect there were three inscriptions in total. One inscription in one language would have been translated as “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” and the inscription in another language would have been translated as “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Both accounts would be correct.

At this point, the Roman soldiers split up the garments of Jesus. John would write, “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did” (Joh. 19:23-24). Baker would write, “The soldiers who crucified Jesus divided His garments among themselves, and there must have been four of them, for John says, ‘they took His garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part,’ but since His robe was seamless, they threw dice for it. David, a thousand years before, had predicted these soldiers would do this very thing…” That verse is Psa 22:18, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

How can anyone put into words the astonishing accuracy of David’s prophecy?

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus theref ore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (Joh. 19:25-27). Baker writes that “John alone records the conversation of Jesus with His mother from the Cross. She was standing there with John and several other women. The words spoken by Simeon over thirty years before must have been running through Mary’s mind…” He cites Luke 2:34-35. That was the moment when the baby Jesus had been brought to the temple. Luke wrote that “Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). A chilling prophesy. I suspect Baker may be right. No doubt those words haunted Mary and may well have come to her mind at Calvary. Mary always knew that something horrific like this would come to pass.

Baker also wrote that “When Jesus uttered the words, ‘Woman, behold thy son,’ He was not referring to Himself, but to the Apostle John, for He then said to John, ‘Behold thy mother,’ and from that hour John took her unto his own home. Even in death Jesus was concerned about others, rather than Himself.”

The Sixth Hour – Noon

Just before we arrive at the sixth hour, which is noon, Luke tells us, “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).

Let me ask a question. What was it that the thief believed that got him saved? When he was hanging on that cross, was he thinking, “Oh, Christ is in the process of paying for all the sins of the world? He’s going to die. He’s going to be buried, and He’s going to be resurrected as a payment for all my sins and I’m going to trust in that to be saved?” How could the thief know that Christ was paying for the sins of the world when no one knew that, not John the Baptist, not the twelve disciples, and not even the demonic realm?

Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:8, “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” The thief simply believed that Christ was the Messiah, which was the gospel during the Lord’s earthly ministry (John 3:15-16). This is not the gospel that Paul preached, which was faith in the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection as a payment for all sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

Then we arrive at the sixth hour, noon, and darkness falls. Matthew writes, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour” (Mat. 27:45). We would also read about this in Mark 15:33 and Luke 23:44.

Dr. Davis writes, “Hours of this pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rendering cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber.”

Spiritual Torture

By this point the spiritual torment to His soul by the demonic realm must have kicked into high gear. First, we read in Psa. 22:2, “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.” The Lord silently cried to His father in His mind throughout this entire ordeal, and although His Father refused to answer, we would read in Psa. 22:3 that the Lord also never stopped thinking about His Father’s perfect holiness. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” I wonder if the Lord focusing upon the holiness of His Father in Heaven comforted Him for why He was dying on that cross.

In Psa. 22:12, we’d learn about the bulls of Bashan. David wrote, “Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.” The bulls of Bashan were these wild powerful uncontrollable bulls in the city of Bashan. Some have speculated, and I would agree, that in Psa. 22:12, the spiritual curtain has been pulled back for us, and in the spiritual realm wild powerful uncontrollable demons, who like the bulls of Bashan, were all circling the cross tormenting the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ.

David would also write in Psa. 22:21, in which the Lord is thinking, “Save me from the lion’s mouth...” We know who that is. 1 Pet. 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil was there in the spiritual realm at the cross tormenting His soul, along with all the demonic realm, and the Lord begged in His mind to His Father to be saved from the roaring lion’s mouth.

Just before we reach the ninth hour, we find in Mat. 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Also in Mark 15:34.) Because He spoke those words in Aramaic some mistakenly thought the Lord was calling out for Ellijah (Matt. 27:47, Mark 15:35). By saying those words, the Lord also points us all back to Psalm 22 so that we may know that Psalm 22 reveals to us all that He’s thinking and feeling while He’s dying on the cross, so that we may know that His death was a perfect fulfillment of prophecy, and so that we may also know that He was forsaken of God the Father, abandoned, cut off, fellowship with the Father broken for the first time since eternity past, because the Father cannot have any fellowship with sin while the sins of the world were being imputed to His Son.

As we read in Isa 53:6, “…the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And also in Isa 53:10-11, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” And again in Isa. 53:8, we find, “for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” He was forsaken by the Father. He was being made to be sin for us to take on the consequence of all our transgressions. Christ tasted the second death for every man, which is separation from God. God abandoned His Son on the cross so that none may be abandoned who places their faith in Him.

The Ninth Hour – 3 o’clock

We arrive at the ninth hour. Dr. Davis writes, “Hours of this pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rendering cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins; a crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart… It is now almost over; the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level. The compressed heart is struggling to pump. The tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. A sponge soaked in cheap, sour wine is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremis, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His words… ‘It is finished.’”

First, the “sponge soaked in cheap, sour wine”. We read in Joh. 19:28-29, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.” “I thirst” is a fulfillment of Psa. 22:15, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws…” Baker wrote that “Psa. 22 gives a vivid description of His physical sufferings, but the spiritual experience of darkness and thirst must have far outweighed the physical.” I wonder if it may be possible that when Jesus spoke of His thirst, He wanted to drink again of the fellowship, the holiness, and the righteousness of the Spirit and His Father in Heaven.

Joh. 19:30 tells us, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (c.f., Matt. 27:48-50, Mark 15:36-37). Luke wrote “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46). Mark would write “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost” (Mar. 15:37).

Dr. Davis writes, “His mission of redemption has been completed. Finally, He can allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His last cry, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.’”

Baker writes that “His seventh and final cry was: ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ and having said this, He yielded up His spirit. We remember the words of Jesus in John 10:17,18: ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. L have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’”

We find in Mat. 27:51, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent…” What’s the significance of the veil being torn apart? The veil of the temple was the curtain through which the priests would enter the Holiest of Holies. That veil was ripped apart from top to bottom. H.A. Ironside wrote, “The veil of the temple signified that no man could pass into the presence of God except as in the case of the high priest on the day of atonement, and that, ‘not without blood.’ But when Christ died as the propitiation for sin the way was opened up into the Holy of holies. Now God can come out in unhindered love to man, and man can go into God’s presence, accepted in Christ. The rent veil speaks of redemption accomplished.” Then he quotes Heb 10:19, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…”

Matthew tells us, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Mat. 27:52-53) Why did the resurrection of all these people happen? This not only proved once again that Christ was the Son of God, but this was also proof of Christ’s victory over death itself seeing others now resurrected, which gave everyone hope, and foreshadowed the resurrection to come upon His return.

Then we find in Mat. 27:54, “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God’” (See also Mark 15:38-39, Luke 23:45,47).

His Side is Pierced

Next, the Lord’s side is pierced. John writes, “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced’” (Joh 19:31-37).

First, the reference to the Sabbath. The Jewish rulers requested that the bodies be removed from the crosses before evening began because the next day was Sabbath. This wasn’t Friday and they’re not talking about Saturday. During the week of Passover, Thursday is called a Sabbath day, which simply means in the Hebrew “to rest,” because Thursday was the day the paschal feast properly commenced. This was a day of rest. Because of this, the soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals, but they were surprised to find Jesus was already dead. Therefore, they did not break His legs, but a soldier pierced His side with a spear and out came out blood and water. All of this fulfilled Scripture. David wrote in Psa. 22:14, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” He also wrote in Psa. 34:20, “He keepeth all His bones; not one of them is broken.” We also find in Zech. 12:10, “And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”

Who but God could have perfectly prophesied these moments?

The Women

We read in Mat. 27:55-56, “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.” (c.f., Mark 15:40-41). It is thought that these women who boldly stuck with Christ when all the men and most of the disciples ran away, if they had ministered to Christ during His life, then they likely continued to minister to Him in His death, too, possibly by helping bring His body down from the cross.

Luke would write, “And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned” (Luke 23:48). Notice how Luke wrote, “all the people that came together to that sight.” All the people who were there. All of them. These are the very same people who had cried, “Crucify him, crucify him.” These are the very same people who “railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross’”(Mark 15:29-30). All the people! And now, because of the darkness and the earthquake and the extraordinary manner of His death, now all the people were convicted about the truth. Their mouths were stopped. Their consciences pricked, and in remorse for what they had done, they smote upon their breasts, they beat upon their own hearts. In other words, they had essentially beat themselves up in their own hearts for this wicked murder.

All of this brings us back to Psa. 22. Consider the last 10 verses.

“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

(Psa. 22:22-31)

We have in vs 22-31, the joy in Israel that enlarges to all the world in His kingdom on Earth wrought by the great salvation of Jehovah. We find first in vs. 22, the praise declared “unto my brethren,” “in the midst of the congregation.” Then praise amongst “all that fear Him,” all “the seed of Jacob,” “all the seed of Israel.” In vs. 25, praise of Him is declared “in the great congregation,” the great, holy temple of the Lord. Then in vs. 27, “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Thus, this Psalm, which begins with His agonizing suffering, ends in mighty glory, a glory yet to come for Israel and for all the nations of the Earth.

The first 21 verses about the sufferings of Christ were fulfilled some 2,000 years ago. But the glory to come in those last 10 verses may very well be within a few years.

Notice in vs. 31 that David wrote, “They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” Gaebelein pointed out that that phrase, “he hath done this” has the same connotation in Hebrew as what the Lord said on the cross when He cried out, “It is finished.”

Gaebelein wrote, “The precious, blessed, unfathomable work of the sin-bearer on the Cross and its far-reaching results in blessing and glory is here unfolded to our faith, as well as for our joy and comfort. The heart of the atonement occupies the foreground, not the physical sufferings, but the suffering He endured from the side of God, when He made Him who knew no sin, sin for us. ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’–But Thou art holy! That is the answer to the ‘Why?’ And when the blessed One was thus forsaken, and faced as the substitute of sinners the holy, sin-hating God, He finished the work, the work which enables God to be just and the justifier of all who believe in Jesus. ‘It is finished!’ was His triumphant shout… Still more astonishing are the details of His physical sufferings, which were all so minutely fulfilled on Calvary. Here we find foretold the piercing of hands and feet, the excessive thirst He suffered, the terrible agony by hanging suspended, every bone out of joint; the laughter and hooting of His enemies, the very expressions they used surrounding the cross are given here, and the dividing of the garments and casting lots and other details are prophetically revealed…” He says, “What… evidence of divine inspiration!”

I’ll just close with one more fulfilled prophecy: Isa 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

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