[Calvary Chapel] 1998-07-09 - Prophetic Cross

The Cross Series, Part 43

Ps 22:11-20 Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and Thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But Thou, O LORD, be not far off; O Thou my help, hasten to my assistance. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog. (NAS)

If we look in this fragment of the 22nd Psalm written by David, we will see prophetic items one after another. This text was written ten centuries before Jesus Christ was born in human flesh. Let's quickly check off a few of them.

  • v11 - all the disciples, except John abandoned Jesus at the cross. Peter denied Jesus. There was Jesus' mother and a few women there - but no one could help Him.
  • v12-13 - the armies of the enemy surrounded Jesus, they may have thought Him accursed for hanging on a tree - they attempt to swallow the Lord up in their victory.
  • v14 - the spear that pierced Jesus' side released water mixed with blood from His broken heart.
  • v15 - reference to the tremendous physical beating that reduced the physically fit Jesus to the point where Simon was made to carry the cross - and to the tremendous thirst Jesus endured as He refused even the wine laced with gall.
  • v16 - A dog was a reference to a Gentile - the Romans in this case; the evil doers could easily refer to the Pharisees who unjustly condemned Jesus and forced Pilate's hand in to executing Jesus.
  • v17 - none of Jesus' bones were broken. When the soldiers came to break the prisoners' legs to hasten their death before the Sabbath, they found Jesus already dead.
  • v18 - Jesus' clothing was divided among the soldiers there - except for His single-piece outer garment for which they cast lots to decide the new owner.
  • v19-20 - Jesus released His spirit into God's waiting hands - knowing that the Father would be there to accept Jesus and celebrate their victory together. Jesus did not die - He dismissed His Spirit.

There is a section of Isaiah starting at 52:13 and going to the end of chapter 53 which also describes the suffering Savior. These ideas were there for them, but the Jewish people could not separate the coming Messiah King from the Sacrificial Lamb of God.

They were blinded for our benefit. If Jesus had been accepted as Messiah and King by the Jewish nation as He entered Jerusalem, the good news - the gospel - might never have come to us - the Gentiles. The mind of God in eternity past (Rev 13:8) held the desire to save everyone. Are the Jews still His Chosen People, the Apple of His Eye? Yes, I believe they are - and they will soon have their vision cleared as Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives.

Rom 11:25-29 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." 27 "And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." 28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (NAS)

God's promises are irrevocable, to Israel and to the Church. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And God will fulfill His promises to Israel, but has shared His matchless grace with anyone who will bow their hearts to Him.

There were prophetic points from the Garden of Eden to the scattering of Israel that point to the Messiah - hundreds of them. Some may appear veiled and vague, but the odds of satisfying half of them are nearly incalculable. The only items left will be quickly checked off when Jesus returns for His church and for Israel at the end of this age which comes closer every day. Jesus crushed the serpent's head at the cross as God promised Eve her offspring would do. As we move into the days after the crucifixion, to the resurrection and Jesus' return to Heaven, consider: Is Jesus Who He claimed to be? Only you can decide for yourself. He is waiting patiently, but the sands of time will flow for only so long.

Lord Jesus - so many things point to Your short time on this earth from the beginning of time. Give those who read the courage to honestly look at the record You have left and the lives You have changed. Open their eyes and hearts. Amen.

Grace & Peace,