Psalms 21-22

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My God, My God

Wednesday 6/19/24

Title: Psalms Book I: Psalms 21-22

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Psalms Book I: Psalms 21-22

Psalm 21:1-13, 

“(1) For the music director; a psalm of David

O LORD, the king rejoices in the strength you give; he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide.  (2)  You grant him his heart’s desire; you do not refuse his request. (Selah)  

(3)  For you bring him rich blessings; you place a golden crown on his head.  

(4)  He asked you to sustain his life, and you have granted him long life and an enduring dynasty.  (5)  Your deliverance brings him great honor; you give him majestic splendor.  (6)  For you grant him lasting blessings; you give him great joy by allowing him into your presence.  (7)  For the king trusts in the LORD, and because of the Most High’s faithfulness he is not shaken.  

(8)  You prevail over all Your enemies; Your power is too great for those who hate You. 

 (9)  You burn them up like a fiery furnace when You appear; the LORD angrily devours them; the fire consumes them.  (10)  You destroy their offspring from the earth, their descendants from among the human race.  (11)  Yes, they intend to do You harm; they dream up a scheme, but they do not succeed.  (12)  For you make them retreat when You aim your arrows at them.  

(13)  Rise up, O LORD, in strength! We will sing and praise your power!”

This Psalm has a few points which I believe need addressing – especially in today’s world.

David begins by praising God for His undergirding strength to sustain him in life and duty as king. He thanks God for His provisions and blessings. Long life, a kingly dynasty and above all the honor of living in His presence. 

This is a step up from last week’s Psalm 15 wherein David was inquiring who might approach God in His temple, and who could hope to take up their residence in His presence. David evidently believes he has found the answer and is living in its reality.

Then this Psalm takes a turn. David now begins to extol God’s power over His enemies.

One might rightly wonder – who could in all reality be an enemy of God… I mean, one of any real threat? Even the devil is no match for his Creator!

The scriptures go on record as saying anyone who is opposed to God and His ways is His enemy. Perhaps the most recent example of this is seen in the letter from James, where he says, “Whoever wants to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God.” ~ James 4:4

One of the chief difficulties we have in understanding some scriptures – especially those describing the thoughts, emotions and actions of God is that we filter everything through the lens of our own experience. When we think of an enemy, we think in terms of someone who could actually do us harm. A threat! But an enemy need only be someone who takes a stand against you, your household or kingdom. They do not need to pose an actual concern to your safety, plans or even longevity.

Now in this case, David is almost certainly referring to an enemy of Israel, which would make that king or nation an enemy of God. It is important however, to realize that such is not necessary. As Creator, God has both the right and the responsibility to judge all rebellion against the Godhead. To allow such to go unresponded to, would be to fail to adjudicate regarding justice. 

In our day immediate exception is taken with descendants and offspring being included in judgment and there are times when God does as well. However, when the one being judged is a nation (as is most likely the case here for a number of reasons) to judge that nation and bring it to ruin will inevitably affect those born in that nation both before and afterwards.

In the book of Revelation, we read that upon the devil’s release from the abyss, he will immediately stir up Gog and Magog against King Jesus – leading them in a physical assault against Him at Jerusalem. We are told that God the Father will destroy them before they ever even reach the gates. Not because Jesus was in any real danger, but because of the intentions of their hearts. In this case, they would have lived in the presence of Jesus as world ruler for a long time. They would know His goodness, justice, kindness and benevolence and so such rebellion would not be blind or ignorant but rather openly defiant out of hatred and malice. They have willingly sided with their lord the devil and as a result will share in his judgment.

Such is the type of evil spoken of here. To quote from Spurgeon about this evil he said,  

“Intentional evil has a virus in it which is not found in sins of ignorance; now as ungodly men with malice aforethought attack the gospel of Christ, their crime is great, and their punishment will be proportionate.” (Spurgeon)

Psalm 22:1-31,  [See My God, My God, why have your forsaken Me?]

Now this is a prophetic Psalm regarding Jesus’ thoughts and words on the cross. 

How many of these words were literally spoken by Him is unknown. We know He quoted this opening statement, but if He quoted more is unknown. Nevertheless that Jesus said at least these opening words is revealed to us by the authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.

Ultimately it does not matter how much of the Psalm Jesus quoted because in Jewish society, as in many others such as our own, a partial quote is a reference to the entire referenced situation. We do this today all of the time in stating a dominant phrase from a book, song and more frequently a TV series or movie.

I will give you two examples:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” – Opening line from Charles Dickens‘ famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities

Even if a person had never read the book, the idea of experiencing a time or event in which two polar opposites are experienced is something to which nearly anyone can relate.

Example of a movie phrase used in a domestic setting:

A foster dad goes through the procedure to legally adopt a boy named Luke as a surprise for his birthday. His cake has the words, “Luke I am your…

Nearly anyone could finish the phrase. In fact in the majority of cases people could tell you…

  • What movie is it from
  • Who spoke it
  • Who was it spoken to
  • The setting of the revelation in the movie.
  • Whether it was a pleasant or an unpleasant revelation

You get the idea?

Jewish people were strictly taught God’s word from their youth. Large portions of it were committed to memory so partial phrases were used all the time to reference entire passages of scripture along with their context and setting.

This has caused many in today’s world to make the grave mistake of assuming that the New Testament writers didn’t reference the Old Testament nearly as much as they in fact did. 

A VERY conservative estimate is that about a full third of the New Testament would not even be in our Bibles if it were not for the Old Testament quotes and references contained in it. 

The New Testament writers made use of over 250 express Old Testament quotations. If we were to include indirect and partial quotations that number soars to over 1,000 and draws from every single Old Testament book except Obadiah.

Just as a side note there is not a single reference to any of the Apocryphal books included in the Roman Catholic Bible. Of course we know why don’t we?

These books were written between after the book of Malachi and before the coming of Jesus. This places them in the intertestamental time of silence where God stopped speaking to His people. [See The Din of Silence Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4]

NOTHING written during this time period can correctly claim to be inspired which would include everything in the Apocrypha and the sadly infamous Book of Enoch!

Now back to the point of this little side journey – partial quotes were used to reference entire segments of scripture and this is no doubt primary among the examples one could offer.

An example of an allusion to the Old Testament where the intention was clearly to recall the entire story referenced by just a few words can be found in Hebrews 3:1-2,

“(1) Therefore, holy brothers and companions in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession;  (2)  He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was in all God’s household.”

This is alluding to the time God confronted Aaron and Miriam regarding their challenge to Moses’ authority in Numbers 12:5-9

“(5) Then the LORD descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward,  (6)  He said: “Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from the LORD, I make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.  (7)  Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household.  (8)  I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”  (9)  The LORD’s anger burned against them, and He left.”

This allusion from the writer of Hebrews was to evoke in his readers a sense of the rebellion and incumbent dangers of rejecting the authority of Jesus over His household by means of this comparison. Any Jew who had come out of Judaism would know this story and would shutter immediately grasping the gravity of rejecting Jesus.

In our example in Psalm 22, we are dealing with a partial quote. 

Partial quotes were employed for many reasons. 

Like the example I just offered, they were used as comparisons with a current event to offer guidance or warning due to the choices and outcomes of the referenced passage. 

Other times it pointed out that a current situation or event was a fulfillment of prophecy. 

Other times it was spoken by the person who was themselves the fulfillment of a prophecy.

Such is the case here. 

Also you need to know that a practical reason for partial quotes was because chapter and verse did not exist yet. So if you wanted to reference a passage of scripture you would simply quote the first few words or phrases of it. This is still practiced today by many Jews who see the addition of chapters and verses as a secular and therefore non-Jewish practice – so they do not use them.

Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophetic Psalm and unless the text makes it clear, the entire Psalm should be seen as referring to Jesus’ thoughts if not His actual words while on the cross.

“(1) For the music director; according to the tune “Morning Doe;” a psalm of David

My God, My God, why have you abandoned Me? [This phrase could also be rendered “My God, My God You HAVE left me” making it a statement rather than a question]

I groan in prayer, but help seems far away.  (2)  My God, I cry out during the day, but You do not answer, and during the night My prayers do not let up.” 

It is a shame to this generation that many have made a religious career out of explaining away much of the New Testament to conform to their theology of a God and Savior Who are both re-imagined.

You see in the modern “it’s all about me” gospel of the 21st century, solid theology is replaced with “feel good” sentiments. 

In this case they alter the meaning or question the sincerity of this phrase in relation to Jesus due to their needy, self-focused sentiment. Their own insecurities and near non-existent faith crumble under the notion of a Father God Who could turn His back on Jesus

The core of their rejection of this is NOT theological, but personal. 

I have personally heard them say, “If God could turn His back on Jesus then what confidence could I have that He would not turn His back on me?”

Their personal fears and apprehensions direct what they are willing to believe.

They say, the Father would never have forsaken Jesus in His deepest hour of need. What kind of Father could do something like that? Not my heavenly Father I can tell you that!” 

Of course the theological elephant in the room that somehow goes missing is the fact that this same Father God is the One Who sent Jesus to die such a horrible death on the cross in the first place. A fact which the greatest majority of them believe is true!

As in most cases, when we reimagine scripture or reinvent its meaning in keeping with our own dilutions, the result is something no better and often worse than we thought we were seeking to side step.

To explain away the words of David and Jesus these people say that Jesus was speaking from His emotions. He only FELT forsaken. 

That He was in a state of delusion due to dehydration and pain so that He uttered what He did not understand.

That is NOT the Jesus of scripture or even the Jesus the gospel’s reveal on the cross.

This distortion of scripture is merely an attempt to side-step something they cannot explain in their shallow, self oriented theology.

This misrepresentation of this passage represents one of the most terrible and blasphemous twists of theology I have yet witnessed. It is right on par with the beliefs of universalists in that it misses some of the deepest truths of this creation, the heart of God and the price of redemption. 

I have to remind myself of my ‘Word of Faith’ days where I did similar things in order to conjure compassion for those who preach this heresy.

Sadly I too twisted scriptures in an attempt to “save God” from mischaracterization. It was a hard lesson to learn that every time I did this, I cheapened the gospel and distorted the image of God I am called, as His child, to represent.

The simple truth is, THE CLEARLY stated price for our rebellion was immediate death. God said as much to Adam from the beginning. “In the DAY that you eat of it you will surely die” were the words.

Adam and Eve died spiritually in the garden that day in that their spiritual connection to the Father was severed. 

The prophet Isaiah clearly says that the Father laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all. That it PLEASED the Father to crush Him, when He made Jesus’ very soul an offering for sin. That it was when the Father knew the travail of Jesus’ soul which was poured out unto DEATH that He was satisfied that the price had been paid.

The word “iniquity” in Isaiah 53:6 is the Hebrew word עוֹן (‛āwōn). It is a masculine noun meaning iniquity, guilt AND punishment. The word indicates sin that is particularly evil, since it strongly conveys the idea of twisting or perverting deliberately. The noun carries along with it the idea of guilt from conscious wrongdoing. Indicated as well by this word is the punishment that goes with this deliberate act of sin.

Again, in my Word of Faith days I believed this meant that Jesus went to hell, which the scriptures DO NOT support

The justification for this was the belief that hell was the punishment for Mankind’s initial rebellion and all subsequent acts of sin which flowed out of that initial rebellion. So if “Jesus did not go to hell, we will” was the misinformed phrase of choice often used in the Word of Faith movement to communicate this notion. 

However this is NOT what God said. God told Adam that on the day he ate of the fruit they would surely die! So separation from the Father was the price for treason, not hell. Hell is simply the location where this sentence will be lived out eternally.

To claim that Jesus bore the sin of the world taking our punishment upon Himself and yet somehow maintain intimacy with the Father is to reduce the price paid to a gesture rather than actual justice. 

Our Lord and Savior, Who is eternal was separated from the Father for a little while on the cross so that we who were separated from the Father, would not have to be so eternally. 

The eternal price was paid by the consequences falling upon the Eternal God.

Those who claim otherwise attempt to use a phrase spoken later in this same Psalm as proof. 

As we will see in verses 21-24 – it says, You have answered Me!  You have not despised or detested the suffering of the oppressed; You did not ignore me; when I cried out, You responded.”  [I altered the tenses to fit the tense of the phrase but the meaning is the same].

In doing this they have unwittingly been at great pains to ignore and explain away the inspiration of this first statement in verses 1 & 2 while embracing the inspiration of the statement in verses 21-24 as if it was an either/or proposition. If one part of the Psalm is inspired the whole is! 

They fail to see what is as plain as the words on the page –  that BOTH are 100% true historically and theologically as we will further address when we reach these latter verses.

Now to be certain this is done by those with no desire to alter scripture but who simply read the entire Psalm and make an assumption that the former was human sentiment and the later literal awareness that God had never really forsaken Him. My exposure to this belief however, has overwhelmingly been from the theology of the bleeding hearts. 

In this immediate portion of the Psalm where Jesus is presented as crying out to God both day and night. This makes clear reference to the entire event as far back as the Garden of Gethsemane until His time on the cross. However both day and night were also experienced by Jesus while on the cross alone. 

Jesus was placed on the cross around 9am and died by 3pm. As we know and have had to adjust to in our own lives at least on Sabbath, a Jewish day began around 6pm at sunset, which means between 3-6pm was considered evening. Evening gave way to morning at 6pm (unless you are referring to Jewish times of prayer in which case morning was sunrise). 

So regardless of how you divide up the Jewish day, Jesus was on the cross both during the day and the night.

Now David and by prophetic extension Jesus, both call to mind God’s faithfulness to Israel as a basis for their expectation of help from Him as individuals.

Psalm 22…

“(3)  You are holy; You sit as King receiving the praises of Israel.  (4)  In You our ancestors trusted; they trusted in You and You rescued them.  (5)  To You they cried out, and they were saved; in You they trusted and they were not disappointed.” 

(6)  But I am a worm, not a man; people insult Me and despise Me.  (7)  All who see Me taunt Me; they mock Me and shake their heads.  (8)  They say, 

“Commit yourself to the LORD! Let the LORD rescue Him! Let the LORD deliver Him, for He delights in Him.”  

This alone is a lesson and one we see modeled often in scripture. It is a reason why we would have known that God is no respecter of persons even if the verses which specifically tell us so had never been written. 

MANY times, God’s people have prayed prayers like this. “God because You have always been the reliable help of Israel in times of adversity and trouble, in confidence I cry out to You now.”

What is this saying but, “God – You are no respecter of persons. If you will deliver one person who cries out in faith, You will deliver ANYONE who cries out in faith. If You have always delivered Your people, then I as one of them can trust You will do the same for me.”

It should be noted that verses 3-8 is referenced in Matthew 27:39 which says, “Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads.”

And Matthew 27:41-43 which says, “(41) In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him and said,  (42)  “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him.  (43)  He has put His trust in God; let God rescue Him now–if He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am God’s Son.'”

These are obviously direct references to these verses in this prophetic Psalm.

Now in Jesus’ thoughts and words recorded prophetically through David when he was in a time of trial, reveal some tender, wonderful and insightful aspects of Jesus’ humanity and of our own.

Psalm 22…

“(9)  Yes, You are the One Who brought Me out from the womb and made Me feel secure on My mother’s breasts.  (10)  I have been dependent on You since birth; from the time I came out of My mother’s womb You have been My God.  

(11)  Do not remain far away from Me, for trouble is near and I have no one to help Me.  (12)  Many bulls surround Me; powerful bulls of Bashan hem Me in.  (13)  They open their mouths to devour me like a roaring lion that rips its prey.”

Bulls were a symbol of power and strength – sometimes of political authority. If you remember when Pilot told Jesus that he had the power to crucify Him, Jesus replied that  Pilot would have no authority if God had not given it to him.

The bulls of Bashan were specifically mentioned and with good reason. These were remarkable beasts due to their size, strength and fierceness. The use of this phrase was meant to represent men that were fierce, savage, and violent.

I don’t want to make too much of this, but the Tribe of Manasseh owned the whole of Bashan where these notorious bulls come from

While it is not proven to be true, it is conjectured among some Jews that a large part of the religious political party known as the Sadduceas were of this tribe. 

In addition to this it is also presumed by some that a good portion of the Pharisees were of the tribe of Ephriam

Following Jesus’ arrest, He stood before the Sanhedrin, which was a Council almost exclusively composed of the Sadducees. Unlike the Pharisees who had no official power, the Sadducees were a force to be reckoned with.

In Isaiah 9:16-21 there is a prophecy regarding the tribal sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh which may be directly connected with all of this.

Let’s read it…

Isaiah 9:16-21, “(16) For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.  (17)  Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, And every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.  

(18)  For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up like rising smoke.  

(19)  Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother.  (20)  And he shall snatch on the right hand And be hungry; He shall devour on the left hand And not be satisfied; Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.  

(21)  Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; Together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.”

I want to go on record that it is mere speculation that the events leading to Jesus’ death are foreshadowed in these verses, in particular by these players, but I am suggesting it as a possible understanding of these words.

The Gospel of John records that the Sadducees were those immediately responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus while the other Gospel’s point to the Romans. Of course this is no disagreement, but rather two sides of the same coin as it were.

The mentioning of a lion in verse 13 is interesting since it is one of the animals associated with Rome. Rome, like America after which we were largely patterned, was predominantly symbolized in the eagle. The people, society and political power of Rome however, were often symbolized in the lion. Thus our picture would be complete.

Of course the imagery of a roaring and devouring lion has its imagery in satan as well, so there is that.

Let me press the issue that none of this identification of people with the symbolism of the words bulls of Bashan and lion is necessary. They quite literally could stand on their own as verbal similes needing no association with specific people or groups. I just believe I see one, and thought I’d share it.

See the Wikipedia article on The Sadducees for more on their possible association with the tribe of Manasseh.

Psalm 22…

“(14)  My strength drains away like water; all My bones are dislocated; My heart is like wax; it melts away inside Me.  

(15)  The roof of My mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; My tongue sticks to My gums. You set Me in the dust of death.  (16)  Yes, wild dogs surround Me – a gang of evil men crowd around Me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet.”  

These words are very accurate depictions of the state of one who is crucified. 

Alex F. Metherell, MD, PhD a modern expert if you will on the subject of crucifixion has said that the Romans used tapered spikes driven through the place where the median nerve runs through the wrist. It is the largest nerve going out of the hand and would be “crushed” by the pounding of the nail.

To even begin to understand this he says, 

Do you know the kind of pain you feel when you bang your elbow and hit your funny bone … well, picture taking a pair of pliers and squeezing (as he twists his hands) and crushing that nerve. The pain was absolutely unbearable.” Jesus’s feet were nailed and those nerves were similarly crushed.

The doctor explains that Christ’s arms would have been stretched 6 inches and his shoulders dislocated and therefore out of joint.

The stress on the diaphragm put the chest into an inhaling position and that in order to exhale, Christ would have had to push up on the spike in his feet in order to relieve the burning pain and pressure off of the diaphragm to exhale.”

The word ‘dog’ used here was a bit of a cultural slur for non-Jews, which in this case fit the Roman soldiers.

Psalm 22…

“(17)  I can count all My bones; My enemies are gloating over me in triumph.  (18)  They are dividing up My clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for My garments.”  

You can bet more than one of Jesus’ blood-thirsty enemies attended His crucifixion with joy and gloating. Jesus told the disciples that they would mourn and the world would rejoice in referring to His death, but we know that the resurrection was soon to reverse this forever! 

Of course we also know the soldiers gambled for Jesus’ clothing as every one of the Gospel writers told us – both Matthew and John both specifically attribute this to the fulfillment of this prophetic passage. 

There are a total of 7 recorded statements of Jesus while on the cross. If taken in progression we can readily see when the Father laid the sins of the world upon Him and turned His back. In like manner we can also see when the price had been paid and the Father returned His gaze upon His Son. Upon knowing the travail of His soul and being satisfied that the terrible and unthinkable wrong had been brought to justice! Just as Isaiah said.

This generation truly needs to grasp what happened in those hours.

The need for this sacrifice was NOT strictly punitive or due to vengeance. 

On the contrary it was due to Justice!

The created had taken the free gift of intimacy with the Godhead and the honor of being their joint image bearers and threw it away in plain view of His warnings of such a choice. 

They did this apparently due only to a mere suggestion from the devil that God had ulterior motives and could not be trusted. 

If we were to read the account in the garden, it was not a slow, methodical whittling away at their resistances to the devil’s suggestions. It appears to have all transpired in the span of minutes. 

The two offspring of God, made in Their collective likeness and crowned with glory and honor had been made joint-rulers over the natural creation. The Godhead had made them closer to Their Creator than the thousands of angelic beings who were made long before them. 

These two who had first been in the heart of God and had been privileged to be the only beings called His offspring. These, in plain view of these facts – not only rebelled – they committed high treason. 

Adam and Eve turned their backs on knowing God relationally merely due to fearing they had been deceived by Him. 

Said plainly, saving themselves meant more to them than His fellowship and person. 

This effectively took a razor across the face of God – spitting Them in the face as it were. The insult is eternal in magnitude! 

If this egregious and outlash act had been against a single entity – if God were only One person, then He might have been free to forgive and set aside the offense. But because the offense was sustained by the real God – a God of three persons, each member could NOT leave the offense unanswered. 

The finite had acted with violence against the Eternal and marred Their collective image before all of creation and that could not remain unresponded to. 

The offense was of the finite to the eternal, so the punishment must include both finitude and infinitude. 

The only choices were for the finite to be rejected and ejected out of the union of their Creator. To spend an eternity in the perpetual spiritual darkness of being exposed to the fire of Their omnipresence without the ability to commune with the holiness of Their persons. 

The result would be an eternal eating away of all they were. To be consumed forever with what could have been, but can never be re-realized. They could never be able to forget since He is forever present. And without the veil of fallen flesh to deaden the impact, they would exist forever in spiritual death and darkness. Tormented by a longing for the intimacy they were created for but can never know again.

The alternative? For the Eternal to suffer the same in one act of redemptive justice! 

The thought itself would have seemed unthinkable to all the angels of heaven, but in the minds of the Almighty, this was all known and decided upon before there was ever any dust of the earth to fashion mankind from. 

God invested His eternal breath into mankind to make them eternal souls. Now They would spend One eternal soul, for a moment – to save forever those who would not love and trust Them.

I know this is a lot of words but I am not even scratching beyond the upper surface of the truths associated with the need for redemption. 

The Godhead would NOT allow this treason within Their extended inner circle to go unanswered. They COULD NOT!

No other beings, so far as we know, have ever been invited into this intimate union with the Godhead. To allow such a breach to remain unresponded to would have been to lie against the truth of the highest magnitude. 

By Their collective acceptance of the wrong and sweeping it under the rug, They would have been dishonoring Each Other – and this cannot be done! 

I am begging you to open your minds to understand that these truths brush up against the eternal and holy nature of the Godhead and the eternal nature of their inter-relationships. It is called the Perichoresis and I am afraid such waters are far too deep for a generation who believe all of life and redemption centers around their petty emotions, their financial well-being and sense of self.

So we have Jesus, the eternal word of God incarnate, separated from the Father for a time on the cross. Him bearing in His body and soul not only our sin, BUT ITS CONSEQUENCE. The burden of the sin is meaningless, if it is not accompanied by its consequences! 

If it had not been for the precious and powerful Spirit of God, Who remained in contact with Christ, He could not have followed through. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us by inspiration that it was the power of the eternal Spirit that enabled Jesus to offer Himself up and for that we have no sufficient words to utter in gratitude.

But once the price was paid, nothing in this universe or in heaven could have kept the Father separated from the Son. 

For a moment the natural sun had been eclipsed, the earth shook, the stones broken and graves of many opened and Heaven for a moment was without their King and the Father was without the Son

It was an agonizing and eternal moment in time – a price beyond comprehension. A wrong, too terrible to imagine! 

Perhaps a noteworthy thought to reflect on is – What had we fallen from? What position in all of creation must we hold that a member of the Godhead would have to be separated from the One we call the Father? For a communion and union both eternal and intimate to have to be broken in order to bring justice to the offense?! 

I am telling you we just do not understand! And there are at least two things we do not understand. 

  1. Who the Godhead is
  2. Who exactly are we in relation to Them

Now that you have a microscopic thread of understanding of what happened here, David presses on to the reversal of Jesus’ condition on the cross.

Psalm 22…

“(19)  But You, O LORD, do not remain far away

You are My source of strength! Hurry and help Me!  

(20)  Deliver Me from the sword! Save My life from the claws of the wild dogs!  

(21)  Rescue Me from the mouth of the lion, and from the horns of the wild oxen! 

You have answered Me!”

These words would have immediately followed “It is finished” which is one Greek word – tetelestai which is the cry of the victor! Jesus had brought forth justice to victory and forever vanquished separation for all who will with their second chance choose to trust in Him!

It is here that Jesus was reunited with the Father and was able to commune once more. At which point He said, “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit which, by the way, is itself a quote from Psalm 31:5.

The rest of this Psalm is a praise to God for the victory He gave and the communion with Him which He restored.

The first verse of which shows the transition from a Psalm of lament to an eschatological Psalm of praise. It is eschatological in that it progresses from the suffering of Israel’s King to the King proclaiming God’s name to His brethren (which is referenced in Matthew 28:3-10) to all nations being ruled by Him and praising Him.

Psalm 22…

“(22)  I will declare your name to My countrymen! In the middle of the assembly I will praise you!  

(23)  You loyal followers of the LORD, praise Him! 

All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! 

All you descendants of Israel, stand in awe of Him!  

(24)  For He did not despise or detest the suffering of the oppressed; he did not ignore Him; when He cried out to Him, He responded.  

(25)  You are the reason I offer praise in the great assembly; I will fulfill My promises before the LORD’s loyal followers.  

(26)  Let the oppressed eat and be filled! Let those who seek His help praise the LORD! 

May You live forever!  (27)  Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the LORD and turn to Him! Let all the nations worship you!  

(28)  For the LORD is king and rules over the nations.  

(29)  All of the thriving people of the earth will join the celebration and worship; all those who are descending into the grave will bow before Him, including those who cannot preserve their lives.  

(30)  A whole generation will serve Him; they will tell the next generation about the Lord.  (31)  They will come and tell about His saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what He has accomplished.”

Now what you have heard tonight about this Psalm is a mere token out of all which could be said. On the website I will link several articles which address what is depicted here in Psalm 22. I truly and honestly hope you will avail yourself of these and be enriched by them!

We will end here tonight, picking up next week with the most well known Psalm and perhaps scripture in all the Bible. It is almost certainly also one of the most beloved as well – the 23rd Psalm!


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!