Mustard Seed Callington
Beneath the cross of Jesus
From Heaven you Came
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live for ever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
"Jesus poured out like water"
I am sure that we all well remember the trial and crucifixion accounts in all four gospels. I hope that in preparation for our time together this morning you have pondered the cross and what exactly was happening to the Lord Jesus Christ. The more that we read the bible the more it becomes obvious that this was not the Jews or even the Romans in control of events but it was Jesus who was fully in control. The cross was His altar and His offering was His own body. Upon the altar of the cross He was about to make the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus the sinless one was about to pay the only price that is acceptable to God the Father in order to buy back all of His friends who are held in the slavery of the devil and sin. As Jesus hung on the cross struggling for His every breathe He called out the words: “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” To many of His critcs this was His moment of doubt and failure but there could be nothing further from the truth.
Such critics could do with learning a healthy dose of Hebrew culture and faith. It was common practice for Jews to use scriptural phrases to bring their attention to the issues of the moment. This is exactly what Jesus was doing here. The Jews around Him heard His bold statement and would have immediately thought of Psalm 22. They were so well versed in the scripture that upon hearing the beginning of the Psalm it's content would then naturally come to mind. If I were to say to you “the Lord is my Shepherd” most of you will I am sure will continue with “I shall not be in want.” Think on now and consider just what Jesus was saying at that moment on the cross. He did not have the physical wherewithal to complete the Psalm but every Jew there would have immediately done so!
There is so much in the Psalm that we cannot cover today (you must do that at home!) but we soon come to this: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”
This is a perfect description of how a person dies when they are crucified. Their bones are dislocated by the weight of the body hanging up by relatively small nails. The heart is so stressed that it is literally breaking apart, feeling as if it is burning up and melting away. All strength is dried up and gone just like a bit of broken unglazed pottery, sucking all of the saliva up like a sponge. The tongue becomes thick and swollen with no moisture to lubricate it. How on earth did He even mutter the words from the cross let alone with a loud voice shout them?
But it is the little phrase: “I am poured out like water” that I would like to consider for a few minutes. This is a description of something more than all of His energy being gone. There is a real theological significance in what is being referred to here. Again we do not have time to look into it properly. That must be reserved for bible study at a later time! In the Law of Moses (see for example Numbers 28:15) along with blood sacrifices there was also to be a drink offering made. This was to be approximately one gallon of wine poured out liberally before the Lord. This was not to be a small token offerring but one of generous proportions. What is being played out by Jesus on the cross is the sacrifice of the innocent victim with His blood poured out in abundance from every wound as a drink offerring. It was poured out like water from a bucket which is rapidly emptied every drop of it!
This then nicely brings us to the Lord's supper which is a demonstration of the sacrifice and drink offerring made. We eat bread and remember His body sacrificed on our behalf and we drink of the wine remembering His blood freely shed for the forgiveness of our sin. According to scripture life is in the blood and so as Jesus emptied Himself of His lifeblood every drop was for yours and for my salvation. His life given for us and our death taken by Jesus.
Far from being a dejected Saviour suggested by some due to His quotation of the beginning of Psalm 22 Jesus was declaring the most profound truths concerning His situation at that moment. He was fully accomplishing all that is necessary for the salvation of all of His people who are the church.
Are your sins dealt with by Jesus? If not why not come for a chat afterwards?
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.