The Cross and The Resurrection

Bible Book: Psalms  22
Subject: Cross; Easter; Death of Jesus; Suffering of Christ; Resurrection

The Cross and the Resurrection

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

The message today is entitled, "The Cross and The Resurrection," and the text is found in Psalm 22. This Psalm was written by David hundreds of years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but it describes in eerie detail the horrible events that Jesus suffered at the Cross and the glory that was to follow it. This Psalm is nothing short of a miracle - a divinely inpired prophetic word from above delivered to man who could not possibly understand the implications of all he was writing. Written to be sung in the worship within the Tabernacle during David’s day, and later sung in the Temple, this Psalm foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah and His death at Calvary. In fact, no less than 33 prophecies of our Lord are contained in this one Psalm. This passage stands as one more convincing proof of the veracity and trustworthiness of God’s Word.

Some may ask, "Did David realize that he was writing prophecy?" We do not know for sure, but it is safe to say that he had no idea of the extent to which he was writing about the Messiah when he penned this words. Nevertheless, the painful agony of Jesus is portrayed here, and the glorious victory of Christ is also seen in this passage.

It is important for us to never forsake preaching the message of the Cross of Christ and His resurrection. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All of us need the forgiveness, which God offers to us through the blood of His Son, Jesus and made available through the risen Savior.

Some years ago it is reported that Billy Graham, the late evangelist, wrote to the mayor of particular city where Graham was going to be leading a crusade in the coming months. In the letter, Graham asked the mayor to list some of the people whom he felt needed Christ. Graham was surprised when the mayor mailed back to him a copy of the entire city telephone directory. Everyone needs Jesus, and everyone coming to God must come by way of the Cross (John 14:6).

I. The Sad Notes in the Song of the Cross

Psalm 22:1-21

We begin with the mournful, plaintive tones of this song. Certainly these are some of the saddest words ever written. It begins with the words which Jesus quoted from the cross, words which serve as a bookmark telling us that this Psalm is all about Jesus. We come to this portion of the passage feeling a little like Moses at the burning bush, as if we should remove our shoes, for surely we are on holy ground.

A. The Refusal at the Cross

Psalm 22:1-6a

This song begins by revealing that God’s Son experienced a divine refusal at the cross. The Father refused the Son some very specific requests. How strange and odd is this? The Father never refused the Son anything He asked for up until this time. Yet, now the Son is denied that which He asks. In what ways?

1. The Father would not come Near Him

Psalm 22:1

Jesus stated that the Father was far from Him. The Father and Son are one, yet now Christ is all alone. Why? Because, He who knew no sin had become sin for us. The Father turned His back on His One and Only Son - the Father abandoned Jesus to die. The Son was separated from the Father so that those who trust Christ will never be separated from God. What a miracle was being wrought here.

2. The Father would not Hear Him

Psalm 22:2

Furthermore, the Father would not hear the Son. Up until this point, the Father and Son spoke daily with each other. Now, the Father will not answer the cry of His Son from the cross. The Father, God, would not hear His Son, so that those who place faith in the Son might never have heaven closed to the cries and prayers.

3. The Father would not Clear Him

Psalm 22:3-6

In the past, the people, the very sinful people, had cried to the Lord and He had heard them and forgiven them. Now, as Jesus is dying on the cross, the Father lays on Him the iniquity of us all. Our sins are upon Jesus and the Father will not hear a cry for mercy. Jesus is abandoned to die in sin, in writhing agony, with entire weight of the world's guilt upon Him.

Think about this, dear Christian. God is near you, God will hear you, and God has cleared you, and He is willing to do that because He closed his eyes and ears to His own Son at that cross. In fact, the very reason He will come near you, and hear you and clear you, is because Jesus took our punishment on that cross. The songwriter was correct when he penned,

"Man of sorrows, what a name,

For the Son of God who came,

Ruined sinners to reclaim,

Hallelujah, what a Savior!" (Philip Bliss, 1875)

B. The Ridicule at the Cross

Psalm 22:6b-8

But there is still more to this sad portion of Psalm 22.

1. Scorned

Psalm 22:6b

The people at the cross scorned Jesus. What does this mean? It means that they laughed at Him. The soldiers who crucified Him played a game at His expense. They blindfolded Him and slapped Him, asking, "Who stuck you?" Jesus was silent. And they laughed Him to scorn! They put a crown of thorns on His head and cried, "Hail, King of the Jews," and as the blood trickled down His face, they laughed Him to scorn.

2. Despised

Psalm 22:6b

The religious leaders and people despised Him. They hated Him. They were disgusted by Him. He came in love and mercy, but the Bible reports that He came unto His own and His own received him not. He was so despised that they spat on him and their spittle ran down his precious face. He was so despised that they stripped him of his clothing and he was left naked on the cross.

3. Mocked

Psalm 22:7-8

They cried out with insults of every kind toward Him as He hung on that cross. They said, "Hey, Jesus, you saved others, why don’t you save yourself?" Surely they must have cried out all kinds of insults. Perhaps they shouted, "Hey, Carpenter Boy, you've got nails in your hands, where is your hammer?" Oh, the sadness of it. Oh, the horror of it. Relentlessly and mercilessly they mocked Him as He died.

C. The Rejection at the Cross

Psalm 22:9-22

1. Vicious Rejection (Bashan)

Psalm 22:9-13a

His rejection was more than mere words. The "bulls of Bashan" mentioned in this passage refers to bulls that were raised in plush vegetation and were extremely strong and vicious. Jesus was surrounded by barbarous, hateful, and diabolical people who, like wild bulls, attacked him mercilessly.

2. Vile Rejection (lion)

Psalm 22:13b-15

The word "lion" in this passage speaks of the devil. He is the roaring lion who goes about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan wicked hands were behind this entire event. He wanted to get rid of Jesus from the beginning. He tried to destroy Him right after He was born. He prompted Herod to send soldiers to kill all the male babies 2 years of age and under in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). He tried to kill Him in the Wilderness during the Temptation of our Lord (Matthew 4:1-11). He prompted people to try to kill Jesus on more than one occasion (John 8:59). Finally, the devil was getting what he wanted. But, he would not want what he got, after he got what he wanted. The devil did not realize that the death of Jesus at the Cross would be the final undoing of his evil empire - oh how vile and wicked was his scheme and attack on Christ.

3. Violent Rejection

Psalm 22:14-21

Here we see the description of the violent acts against the Lord Jesus Christ. His hands and feet were pierced. His bones were separated as He hung upon the cross. His body was beaten, He was denied water, and He was left to struggle for one breath of air.

Just think of it. The Son of God who created the trees, was made to hang from one. The Son of God who had created the air we breath was made to gasp for every breath of air for His lungs while on the Cross. The Son of God who came to give life was giving up His life for us.

Our Lord endured the cross, despising its shame. We must never be ashamed of the Cross of Christ.

 I suppose that we can say that no symbol on earth is more abused than the cross. Rock stars wear it on stage singing godless lyrics. Prostitutes where it around their necks as we prowl the streets in our cities. Drug users wear it sometimes as a tattoo.Actually, we who are saved know that the cross speaks of life and forgiveness to the true child of God. Our Lord enduredthe cross, we must uphold it and never be ashame of it.

II. The Glad Notes in the Song of the Cross

Psalm 22:22-31

How wonderful to keep reading in this Psalm till we come to verse 22 and following. For the sad notes of the song turn to glad notes in the song. Thank God that the story of the cross does not end at the cross. Though we will consider the resurrection of Jesus next week, we must see the sound of victory in this very Psalm. Everyday is victory day for those who have trusted in the One who overcame the grave and death. Note three things in the second section of this song.

A. The Promise of His Resurrection

Psalm 22:22-25

He went to the Cross promising His disciples that He would be raised from the dead. Jesus always keeps His promises - He is alive! And now He promises to all who believe upon Him and accept Him as Lord that they, too, will live forever. Death will have no victory over us.

B. The Praise of the Redeemed

Psalm 22:26

The redeemed praise Him - we lift Him up. That is why we meet together. The church is not a holier-than-thou club of do-gooders. The Church is a blood-bought family coming to the Father’s table and thanking Him for Jesus who died for us. The Church is a place where once sin-sick souls, now healed by the power of the Great Physician, come to thank the One who saved and keeps them. The Church is where people who need the Redeemer can find Him. Where two or more of His disciples meet, He is present - just as He promised!

C. The Power of His Reign

Psalm 22:27-31

This prophecy declares that His reign will reach the ends of the earth. In fact, this prophecy has been fulfilled - his powerful influence has been felt on every continent. People come into the Kingdom from every corner of the globe - from every kindred, every tongue, every language and every people they come to bow before Him. We bow down and worship the One who died on that cross and rose triumphantly from the dead.

Conclusion

Have you been to Calvary? Have you been made whole? Who or what are you trusting to get you into heaven? Only Jesus will do.

Many years ago the Yangtze River overflowed as never before. The rich people went to their homes, climbed the stairs to the upper levels and thought themselves safe. They were drowned by the hundreds. The poor people did not trust their paper and mud huts, so they fled to the mountains. They lived!

You can trust your own works and die, or you can trust what Jesus did at Calvary and be saved. Run to the mountain called Calvary, bow at the feet of Jesus and be saved. The cold waters of death and judgment can never rise above the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus.

You need to come to the risen, living Christ today.