Victory Through Sorrow: Easter Message, Part 2 :: By Ron Ferguson

Victory Through Sorrow: Easter Message, Part 2 :: By Ron Ferguson

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We will continue this three-part series on the Easter Message from a poem of mine. Today, we will look at the thoughts derived from the next 11 stanzas. The material in the poem comes from the following scriptures:

Psalm 22
Psalm 69
Isaiah 52 and 53
The Gospel accounts of the betrayal night and the crucifixion.

“Dangerous bulls have surrounded me.
Bashan bulls circle, and I’m trapped.
Like gaping lions they snarl in glee;
Satan’s dogs at the cross have lapped.”

Psalm 22 is a remarkable prophetic Psalm of the Messiah. It contains a number of references the Gospel writers used when writing about Calvary, and the Psalm itself has a description, but mainly the utterances of the Lord on the cross alone and His inaudible prayers. This section was used for the poem:

Psalm 22:10-12 “Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb. Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.”

This heartfelt request from David saw him in deep trouble, probably from enemies, and there was no one to turn to except the Lord. Verse 10 is reminding God/Father that there has been a lifetime relationship (actually an eternal existence), and that is the basis for trusting again for that help.

The reference to bulls is that these are wild bulls and powerful and will readily attack and gore the person to death. That is how it was for the Lord on the cross. The pressures were all around. Jesus prayed from the depths of His being. The Psalm adds this, speaking of these bulls:

Psalm 22:13 “They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion.” What a wall of terror was before David, and before the Lord. Jesus was in the place of darkest rejection when He was made sin for each one of us = our sins were laid on Him.

The last stanza line mentions dogs – Psalm 22:19-21 “But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance. Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth; from the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.” NEVER let your heart and mind ever forget what the Lord did for you.

“Like wax, My heart within melts away,
And My bones are out of joint.
Dogs are all around. I’m in dismay.
Encircling evildoers point.”

Who of the human race can ever understand these words? Jeremiah experienced such sorrow and pain – Lamentations 1:12 “Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain which was severely dealt out to me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of His fierce anger.” The AV used “sorrow” in place of the NASB’s “pain,” but we can apply that verse to the Lord on the cross. We will never know what the Lord went through to rescue the lost sheep on that day when the Father inflicted such pain on the Son.

“But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night which the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.”

Think for a minute what it’s like to have a heart melted like wax and poured out like water – Psalm 22:14 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.” Such a happening is devastating to the human body, beyond any experience we would ever have. Such were the devastating results of your sin and what had to happen to gain your salvation.

Again, imagine a body where no bones are broken, but they are all out of joint. The verse says ALL my bones. People might have a shoulder that goes out of joint, and it is so painful, but what if every joint and bone was out of joint? Do you know who should have suffered that? You and me! That is what substitution is. He did it all in MY place. Why do we love our Lord Jesus? Because He first loved us!

“Soldiers, let us divide His garments;
For His clothing, lots we will cast.”
Then they gambled over His vestments,
Joyously, in a scene so aghast.

The inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave us this – Psalm 22:18 “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And the same inspired writings say this (very similar in Matthew, Mark, and Luke) – Matthew 27:35 “When they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots.”

The Apostle John, who so tenderly leaned on Jesus’s garments on His breast (chest) in devotion at the Last Supper, goes into more detail about the garments he had personally rested on – John 19:23-24 “The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic. Now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. They said therefore to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it shall be,’ that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” John also witnessed the humility the garments represented – John 13:4 “Jesus… rose from supper and laid aside His garments, and taking a towel, He girded Himself about.”

Those soldiers gambled with their lives as they gambled over the garments of Jesus. The Lord came into the world with not a thing as a newborn infant, and He left the world with not a thing as the Redeemer of all eternity who sealed the new covenant in His own blood.

Now our Lord is high and lifted up and crowned with beauty in heaven as the God-Man. He will be glorious when He comes in the Rapture, and very fearsome when He comes in the Second Coming.

“I am all alone and forsaken;
Rejected by men and despised.
I am Lord – Messiah, mistaken.
By My people I am abscised.”

We can apply that stanza to the Lord on the cross, though we have a strong verse for the first line. Matthew 27:45-46 “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour, and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

Jesus was rejected and despised by men but never by the Father. There is a difference between rejected and forsaken. Jesus was forsaken, that is, left alone to bear the sins of the world. There were no comforters, and even the repentant thief could not comfort Him. Psalm 69:20 “Reproach has broken my heart, and I am so sick, and I looked for sympathy, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.”

Isaiah 53:3-4 “He was despised and FORSAKEN OF MEN, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…. Surely our griefs He Himself bore and our sorrows He carried, yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, SMITTEN OF GOD AND AFFLICTED.”

No one can understand the unity in the Godhead, which is one God, yet was this a time when the only separation ever happened? It is too profound for us. Sinner, there at the foot of the cross, look at your Saviour die for the sins of the world but smitten by God, who was pleased to bruise Him. I think we will hardly know what to say to Jesus when we see Him.

Loneliness is bad enough, but when you are forsaken, rejected, with not one single person to help, then it is a very serious matter indeed. Every day remember – JESUS UNDERWENT THIS FOR YOU!

The word “abscised” at the end of the stanza means to separate, cut off, as a leaf from a stem.

“Loneliness I know in rejection;
My Person and message debased.
They scorn Me with absent affection.
The enemy’s cause they embraced.”

The world did not know Him, and His own people (the Jews) did not receive Him. John 1:10-11 “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”

Why did they not receive Him? Why was Jesus rejected? It was because of the sin of the people, their personal sin that debarred them from God; but it was that very sin that caused the death of the Lord Jesus Christ so the penalty could be removed and fellowship between God and man would be perfectly restored.

Rejection by the chief priests, the people, Herod, Pilate, and one thief dying next to Him – all they could do was scorn Him with satanic hatred. Psalm 69:12 “Those who sit in the gate talk about me, and I am the song of the drunkards.” But as for those in high Roman authority, this was their satanically inspired sin – Matthew 27:28-31 “And they stripped Him and put a SCARLET ROBE on Him. And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and MOCKED HIM, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’

They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had MOCKED HIM, they took His robe off and put His garments on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.”

“Hail King of the Jews!” but it was absent affection. Satan was cast out of heaven, and before Pilate, he scorned his hatred against the King of heaven who cast him out. Many that day were compliant to Satan.

“They all raised their voices against Me.
They shouted with the devil’s voice.
Their bitterness was their enmity.
See how terrible was their choice.”

Evil hates goodness and seeks to exterminate it. Anything good, or if it is God’s work, the devil’s agents will try to destroy or stop. Voices from all quarters were raised against the Lord in His ministry, His trial, and at the cross. Enemies today are more prolific than ever and will proceed from bad now to worse.

There was a statement made by Jesus that will be true in the coming Tribulation He was speaking about, after the Rapture, and this is it, but its application can also be made for our last days of the Church age – Luke 21:16-17 “You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you WILL BE HATED BY ALL ON ACCOUNT OF MY NAME.”

That is the reason; people hated Jesus, and they will hate His followers without a cause. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” Taking up the cross means walking the road to Calvary, a road of earthly rejection and ostracism (and death). They hated Him; they will hate us also.

Look at these dreadful verses – John 19:15-16 “They therefore cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him. Crucify Him!’

Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar,’ so he then delivered Him to them to be crucified.” That was followed by a statement from the Jewish people themselves that has had dire consequences for 1,900 years, for there has not been a people persecuted as much as the Jews – Matthew 27:25 “All the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’”

Those who reject the Lord and debase Him and His believers will have the dread of eternity to reflect on their evil.

“A Man of sorrows, that’s what I’m called.
Grief hangs around Me like a veil.
Those who see Me, see with eyes appalled,
And the mockers against Me rail.”

It would be wrong to think that in His earthly sojourn, the Lord was always sad and lonely. I heard one say the Bible never mentions that Jesus laughed or smiled. Why should it? That is not the purpose. Jesus was a Man of sorrow, and He was wrapped in grief, but those references, in context, describe Jesus on the cross. Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and forsaken of men, a MAN OF SORROWS, and acquainted with GRIEF; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” That is a serious verse. Such was the grief of the Lord that ordinary men and women turned their faces away and hid them. They could not look on it. Their eyes were appalled at the grief on display at the cross.

However, it did not concern the mockers that Christ was there in sorrow and rejection. All they could do was mock. Their mocking will turn on them in the judgment.

There is one thing we must not miss, and it is the next verse – Isaiah 53:4 “Surely OUR GRIEFS He Himself bore and OUR SORROWS He carried, yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.” Yes, He was afflicted, but why was that? The verse says it all. He was bearing OUR grief/s and OUR sorrows. That is when He was the Man of Sorrows. He bore them. He carried them for us. There is no greater verse for substitution than this one (along with its twin verse – 2Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”). He was the Man of Sorrows because He took our sorrows as His very own and died for them in the way we could never have done.

“Roman soldiers pierced My hands and feet.
My bones were strained, but broken not.
With mocking stares, My Person they greet.
Be near Me for trouble is hot.”

There at Calvary, this verse was fulfilled – Psalm 22:16-17 “Dogs have surrounded me. A band of evildoers has encompassed me. THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me.” This is but another mark of direct inspiration of the scriptures, for such an event never happened to David, but the fulfillment came 1,000 years later at Calvary. It was the mechanics of crucifixion, unknown to David, but Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Sometimes you see depictions of crucifixion where the arms are bound to the cross member of the cross with cords, and some even suggest that for Jesus, but it is wrong. He was nailed with spikes. John 20:24-25 “Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

The other disciples therefore were saying to him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I shall see in His hands the IMPRINT OF THE NAILS, and put my finger into the place of the NAILS, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’” Acts 2:23 “this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you NAILED to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

Because of this cruel form of execution, the body is under great strain, and although the bones are not broken, the body is under great strain, and the tension on tendons, ligaments, and muscles is enormous.

The sacrificial lambs of the Old Testament never had their bones broken. It was prohibited by God. Thus Jesus died before the soldiers broke the bones of the victims to hasten death. There had to be a perfect fulfillment.

“In the place of no standing, I sink;
Forsaken by God, I’m alone.
They give Me vinegar for My drink.
My title, My grief, they disown.”

There are a lot of scriptures that connect with the 4 lines of the poem. Lines 2 and 3 are best known because they were among the utterances from the cross – Matthew 27:45-46 “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour, and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’” AND John 19:28-30 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

Both of these events are fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament. Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.” AND Psalm 69:21 “They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

An overlooked fact of the cross is the first line, “In the place of no standing, I sink,” but the truth of it is so real. Jesus stood where there was no standing and just sank under the weight of men’s sins and the penalty incurred by those sins. We can never imagine what that was like in the battle against Satan to gain total victory while paying the penalty for sin. Psalm 69:2 “I have sunk in deep mire and there is no foothold. I have come into deep waters and a flood overflows me.” Psalm 69:14 “Deliver me from the mire, and do not let me sink. May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters.”

“Your waves and billows over Me pass.
I am weary with My crying.
I am surrounded by walls of brass
In the hollows of the dying.”

Who can know the torment and agony of a drowning man other than the one drowning. That was the experience of Jesus and why He could talk about the waves and billows. It was a similar experience to Jonah in the sea until the Lord appointed a great fish. This is the Lord’s prayer – Psalm 69:15 “May the flood of water not overflow me, and may the deep not swallow me up, and may the pit not shut its mouth on me.”

In the following quote, the Lord shared with Jonah the torment of helplessness. Is it no wonder the Lord in Gethsemane prayed that the cup would pass from Him? On the cross, He was in this place of no standing and endured this – Jonah 2:2-3 “and he said, ‘I called out of my distress to the LORD, and He answered me.

I cried for help from the depth of Sheol. You heard my voice, for You had cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me” Jonah 2:5 “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me. Weeds were wrapped around my head.”

At Easter time, many Christians hear Easter messages and read the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, but how many venture to Psalm 22 and Psalm 69; both Psalms reveal the prayers and utterances and the emotions of the Suffering Servant on the cross as the sin offering for the world? I think it is essential that we do so; otherwise, we get only part of the picture.

May the Lord bless you all. Amen.


The post Victory Through Sorrow: Easter Message, Part 2 :: By Ron Ferguson appeared first on Rapture Ready.

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