Summary: The true message of Christmas is that of the power of love a force from above that’s cleans your soul, that’s saves and restores that opens the eyes of the blind, that gives the deaf hearing and free’s the captives from the darkest of dungeons, psalm 22 p
Death even Death on a Cross:
I have often wondered why we do not have Christmas cards showing a cross? Yes Advent is about the birth of our Saviour but really its all about the cross about a God who loved the world so much that as we read in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. So lets consider psalm 22 as we enter into this session of advent. Psalm 22 is referred to as “The psalm of the Cross”. Written at least a 1,000 years before our Lord was nailed and pierced to hang on the cross for our sins. This is prophesy along with so many in the Old Testament, pointing to the coming of the Messiah, God breathed words from those seeking God, revealing part of the great plan to encourage and grow faith but ultimately to demonstrate this is of God. This is of God who is beyond time and not bound by the constraints the created ones must endure
When you read psalm 22 its almost like for an instant David was there on the cross and felt Jesus’s pain, suffered with him and realised the ultimate prize. This psalm is also entitled “The Doe of the Morning.” . This is not wasted symbolism according to natural history there is a hatred between the deer and the serpent, deer apparently drawing serpents from their holes by their warm breath and then eating them. The cross representing the greatest and final victory over the serpent satan.
Psalm 22: 1 - 5.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Psalm 22 then starts with the moment of Jesus death, the apparent end of the story the apparent depths of defeat when our Lord cries out to God from the agony of the cross from the physical pain the shear excruciating pain, not just in the physical but also the spiritual, this is total trauma totally consuming pain, but worst of in this awful darkness, Jesus feels God has left him, deserted him in this time of trial and as we read in Matthew 27: 45 – 46: From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).Why are you so far from saving me, as Jesus takes on our sins the sins of humanity God he cries out to God not to forsake him. So soon after Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 16: 31 - 33 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The shock for Jesus of this moment was heart rendering. My God, My God the spirit of adoption was strong in the suffering of the Son of Man, Jesus is not giving up on God and God is most certainly not giving up on Jesus. David also points to God as Israel's redeemer the God of the pillar of fire, the God of the parted sea the God who delivered his people
A God who will deliver the whole of humanity through the cross and has not forsaken us but so loved us he gave him self coming to this earth as a naked unprotected babe, the God who created all things so vulnerable born for this moment, born to endure the cross. We should take to heart the words in Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.