CALVARY WAS THE EXACT EVENT:
• Jesus was ‘bruised in the heel’ just as Eve was promised by God in Genesis 3.15 – FIVE THOUSAND YEARS AGO! And what a promise!
• Jesus was “lifted up” as Moses foresaw 1,500 years earlier in Numbers 21.8 (cf. John 3.14) with the brazen serpent.
• David saw 1,000 years before Calvary that Christ would be “pierced” in His hands and feet, His garments were “divided” and His clothing was won by “casting lots” as Psalm 22.2,4,16-18 records.
Besides those prophecies, the very fact that the Old Testament predicted that Messiah would be crucified is amazing. Crucifixion was not a Jewish form of execution if indeed it was even known to them in Old Testament times. Yet Psalm 22 and Numbers 21 picture such a death (cf. John 3:14).
Psalm 22 parallels the Seven Last Words of Jesus. Either explicitly or implied, each can be traced through the 31 verses of this Psalm. This Psalm covers the Cross from the depths of anguish at the first verse to the Triumph of the last verse – it shows Christ’s going through and winning, enduring the Cross for our sins.
1. “My God, My God” It has been the belief of many scholars that actually the Lord Jesus, while on the cross, quoted the entire twenty-second psalm. I agree with this, because the seven last sayings that are given in the Gospels either appear in this psalm, or the psychological background for them is here.
2. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do …” (Luke 23:34). If He had not said that, this crowd would have committed the unpardonable sin. But they did not—He asked forgiveness for their sin. We know that the centurion in charge of the execution was saved; and a whole company of Pharisees, including Saul of Tarsus, who probably were in this crowd, were saved.
3. “Woman behold thy son” (22.9-10)As Jesus looks at her, do you want to know what went on in His heart? He went back to Bethlehem at the time He was born, and He says to the Father:
4. “I Thirst” (22.15-18) He was crucified naked. It is difficult for us in this age of nudity and pornography to comprehend the great humiliation He suffered by hanging nude on the cross. They had taken His garments and gambled for ownership. My friend, He went through it all, crucified naked, that you might be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and so be able to stand before God throughout the endless ages of eternity.
5. “Into Thy Hands” (22.19-22) I think that He said this entire psalm on the cross. He did not die defeated; for when He reached the very end He said, “This is the gospel that will be witnessed to. I will declare thy name unto my brethren.” And I see Peter in the midst of the Sanhedrin, composed of both Pharisees and Sadducees, saying to them, “… there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.”
6. “Today thou shalt be with me” (22.26) The redeemed shall be there to praise, and the thief He was taking with Him that very day. Although he was a man unfit to even live down here, according to Rome’s standard, the Lord Jesus makes him fit for heaven by His death on the cross.
7. “It is Finished” They shall declare His righteousness—not your righteousness, for God says it is filthy rags in His sight. How will they declare His righteousness? “That he hath done this.” Some would translate it, “It is finished,” the last word He spoke on the cross. And when He said it, it was but one word—Tetelestai! Finished! Your redemption is a completed package, and He presents it to you wrapped up with everything in it.
When He died on the cross, He provided a righteousness that would satisfy a holy God. All He asks of you is that you receive this package, this gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus. If you reject it, God must treat you as He treated His Son when He cried, “… My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). I am not here to argue about the temperature of hell: it will be hell for any man to be forsaken of God. Jesus Christ went through it that you might never have to utter that cry. Psalm 22 reveals the heart of our Savior as He was made a sin offering in our behalf. He completed the transaction in triumph. He offers to us a finished redemption. We never shall be worthy of it; we cannot earn it: we cannot buy it—we must receive it as a gift. Over nineteen hundred years ago the Lord Jesus Christ did all that was needed to save us. It is done. Tetelestai. Finished!
• He was “bruised” as Isaiah saw 700 years before in chapter 53.5-6 “for our iniquities”.
• In the 5th Century BC Daniel 9.24 we are told that Messiah would “be cut off” as a substitute, and not for Himself.
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