Jesus’ Battlefield

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February 23, 2014 by Chris French

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that told ancient Israel about the Messiah. Psalm 22 is one of the more popular I suppose because it gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on in Jesus’ mind as He’s dying.

You see pain and betrayal running thru His head. As you read the opening verses you can almost see Jesus as they nail His wrists to the crossbeam. “I’ve been crying out to You all night! Why aren’t You saving Me from this? Are you listening!?” Almost as quickly as this thought skitters thru His mind He remembers the stories Joseph and Mary undoubtedly taught Him as a boy, stories of God delivering Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. God’s care for Moses and Joshua and even Rahab probably sprinted through His mind Sparksplintering His previous thought of God’s distance. “To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”

As one of the soldiers spits on Him it brings Him back to the cross standing outside of Jerusalem and He thinks, “But those men had Your ear, but I have lost it! You pay as much attention to Me as You do to the worms!” Just as quickly as that thought entered Jesus’ mind He remembers the unparalleled marvel of birth and how God takes care of even the smallest babies. The Father had been with Him since His birth and He would continue with Him even though trouble and pain surrounded Him.

I think Jesus’ final hours were consumed with attacks. His terror, pain and humiliation making Him feel betrayed by God, but then He, almost without thought, discounts those ideas because He knows God better than that. His mind jumps from betrayal to trust and back again as He fights His emotions with what He knows to be true. How very human! Somewhere along the timeline of the cross what He knows to be true about the Father finally quiets His emotions. “For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” His inner battle is over and His trust in God is stronger now than ever before.

“It is finished!” He has done it and people in future generations will talk about the redemption they found because of His work on the cross outside of Jerusalem on that day.

It seems to me that the entirety of Psalm 22 is focused on the cross so that is the way I’ve outlined my thoughts this morning. Spend some time with Psalm 22 on your own today.

Do you see how His mind jumped back and forth from betrayal to trust? Does your mind ever do that? Mine does! The more I get to know Him though the quicker the times in my past, and even Israel’s history, when He’s demonstrated His faithfulness pop into my head. It’s like two armies surging against one another in an attempt to set up residency in my mind. What would happen if you didn’t combat the feeling of betrayal?

 

 

 

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