Saturday, April 2, 2011
And the Scripture was Fulfilled...
In reading Mark's Gospel, I am stopped with wonder and worship at the 15th chapter portraying the events of the crucifixion.
There is a popular book by Max Lucado entitled Six Hours One Friday. I must make the opportunity to read it. The title suggests a number of things. Jesus was affixed to the cross at the "third hour" (being three hours after sunrise or @ 9:00 AM). Great darkness overtook the land at noon. At the ninth hour Jesus gave forth a loud cry and "gave up the ghost". Consider that God the Father created the world in six days; God the Son accomplished redemption in six hours.
In our chapter from Mark and near the end of the torment of the Cross, Jesus utters the precise words of the Psalmist, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" One wonders why He did not cry out "Father" at this point, but rather "my God". In His perfect humanity He was here serving as both sacrifice and priest, the Last Adam accomplishing atonement for the failure of the First Adam. How many times must our Lord have meditated upon Psalm 22 as He approached the hour of darkness? The preceding night in the Upper Room he had not allowed this inevitability to cloud his final fellowship and encouragement with the disciples. Such bravery! Such faith!
Now consider those things which had been prophesied and then watch them accomplished one by one in the crucifixion:
1. He was judged by the Assembly of the wicked.
2. He was stripped and humiliated in public.
3. He was taunted by the crowds as to why He could not save Himself.
4. He was surrounded by leering "dogs" or Gentiles (Roman soldiers).
5. They pierced His hands and His feet.
6. His bones were pulled out of joint.
7. They distributed his clothing and cast lots for His seamless coat.
8. He suffered extreme thirst.
But faithfully Christ would have held on to the promise of vindication uttered by the Psalmist:
23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
In reviewing the above eight aspects of fulfilment, one cannot recognize the possibility of Christ "positioning Himself" to receive His prophecy. He simply had steeped Himself in God, in prayer, in meditation on the scriptures and in obedience to each day's requirements. Then one day His destiny had arrived. In an earlier post I commented on the idea of "moving into one's destiny" as taught by some in the prophetic movement of today. Check also the poem Simeon's Day. (December 15, 2009)
More than any other instance in the Bible, this harmony of Mark 15 with Psalm 22, convinces me of the unity and cohesiveness of the entire canon of 66 books. It is the unstoppable Word and Will of God working "together for good to them that love God". (Romans 8:28-32)
Note: One of our Helpful Links below is an exceptional book by James Stalker including exposition of Jesus' seven statements from the Cross.