Monday, March 15, 2010

All Ends of Earth Remembering Him

A number of prophecies regarding Christ’s crucifixion are from Psalm 22. The Psalm opens with the piercing lament, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent.” (Ps. 22:1-2) The jeers of the passersby are found here too: “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’ from verse 8. The accusations and taunts of soldiers and priests are well described in the imagery of bulls and lions and dogs surrounding Him, raging at Him in verses 12-13, 16. The Psalmist says that they have pierced his hands and feet, and divided his garments among them and cast lots for his clothing (22:17-18). Then at verse 21, the psalmist says, ‘You have answered me.’ And, He says, “I will declare Your name to My brethren, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.’ And He begins calling upon Israel to fear the Lord and worship Him. And finally he turns to the rest of the world, and declares: “All ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the Kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship…” (22:27-29) And if David could sing this nearly a full millennium before Christ, how much more should we be able to sing this two millennia after Christ, even in our trials and pain? Jesus was the forsaken one, the surrounded one, the pierced one, and God has answered Him. He was answered in the resurrection with power and glory, and ever since the Church has taken up David’s song declaring the Name of Jesus to our brothers, to our families, and to the ends of the earth. And Jesus was not forsaken, surrounded, and pierced in order to give God a fighting chance. Jesus was forsaken, surrounded, and pierced so that the Kingdom might be His, so that all the ends of the world would remember and turn to Him, so that all the families of the nations would worship Him. And here we are eating and worshipping before the Lord just as David sung in the darkness of the Old Covenant three thousand years ago. As we lift this bread and wine, and declare to one another the name of the Lord, the name of Jesus, the name of our King, we do so because Jesus is the conquering King, the King who has reigned and will reigned until even those who have gone down into the dust cannot help but come out of their graves and bow before the Majesty. So come and worship, come and eat, come and declare His Name.

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