Devotion on Psalm 22, Part VI, 27 March 2015 Anno Domini
13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (1 Tim 6:13-15)
Having suffered on the Cross, died there, and buried in a borrowed Garden Tomb, the Lord now declares an Unconditional and Complete Victory over sin, death, and Hell at His Resurrection from the Grave. “27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Do you remember the name of the High Priest at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus? It was Caiaphas! But how many Christians remember THAT name? What was the name of the Centurion in charge of the Roman cohort that crucified Jesus? No one remembers! But the Name of Jesus Christ is burned into the memory of all – even those who falsely claim to be unbelievers. I do not believe in the little gods of the Hindus, but neither do I remember their names. There are so many of them that most Hindus do not recall them all. But every so-called atheist remembers the Name of Jesus that he denies! Amazing, is it is not? Read the words of Napoleon Bonaparte on St. Helene in 1820 –
“The nature of Christ’s existence is mysterious, I admit; but this mystery meets the wants of man. Reject it and the world is an explicable riddle; believe it, and the history of our race is satisfactorily explained.
“I know men, and I tell you that Jesus is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions, that resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and other religions, the distance of infinity.
“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”
Amazingly, the Name of Jesus is written in more distinct relief today than ever before; and it shall be written in burning flames on the trailing Ensign of His Vestige at His return leading the Armies of Heaven. And it is very true that all nations and peoples shall worship Him. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11 & Isa 45:23) Presumably, many so-proclaimed atheists will be included in that number out of fear and trembling.
“28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.” It is true that the kingdoms of this world are handed over to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 11:15) But they will not remain ‘kingdoms’ for His Kingdom is One Kingdom. We need to become naturalized citizens of His Kingdom through the process of adoption of sons and daughters. There is only One Begotten Son, and that is Jesus!
“29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.” They shall eat of that Bread of Heaven, and worship at the very Throne of God. The wicked who have rejected and denied Him shall, at last, make open confession that He is Lord on bended knee. There is no salvation for them at the point of His return. What a great truth – “None can keep alive his own soul.” It has never happened before in history, and it shall never happen except the Lord preserve us. If our souls are secure in that Ark of Christ when the devastation and peril comes upon the earth, then we shall, as the Ark of Noah, rise higher and higher above the confusion and ruin of the old world.
“ 30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” I love the singular reference to a seed that shall serve Him! What seed is this? It is the Seed of Abraham which is, in great form, the Lord Jesus Christ; and in lesser form, those who are secure in Jesus Christ! They have accepted the Promise of the Seed made to Father Abraham, and they are, by faith, accounted the true seed of Israel – not by accident of birth, but by a living faith! I bring to the bar, the testimony of St. Paul: “13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:13-16) and, “16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Gal 3:16-18) I hope the reader observed that the remnant are the seed of Abraham and not the seeds. Why is this important. Because we are all One in Jesus Christ – the true Seed of Promise!
“31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” (Psalms 22:31) Thanks be to God, this has happened, and IS happening! We were the “people that shall be born” and countless future generations of believers, as well.
Here ends the writing of the 22nd Psalm, but not the significance of its meaning; for its meaning is to us and our children. It is no accident that the 23rd Psalm follows the 22nd. He has become our Lord, our Shepherd, our Guide, and our Great Redeemer! “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever!”
Like Nicodemus, our faith is a growing faith – growing in knowledge, in courage, and in service. Nicodemus was the member of the Sanhedrin who came to Jesus first under the cover of darkness, but later boldly to Pilate to claim the body of the crucified Christ! Mary Magdalene came early, while yet dark, to anoint a dead body of her Lord. Mary came with a lot of love, and perhaps a smaller measure of faith, but she came! “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:1-2)
Mary was the first person to share the fullness of the Gospel – the Risen Savior! But Mary’s heart was heavy because there was no dead body to anoint! Her tears were as profuse as the sea! Little did Mary know that there was a Risen Lord to behold! The Risen Lord did not remove her tears, but turned them from tears of deep morning to tears of exultant joy! “Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” (John 20:11-16) Blinded by tears of unknowing, her heart was made joyous at the call of her name by Jesus. No other could call Mary’s name with such compassion and tender regard – and by that, she KNEW Him! He has called your name too in the midst of sorrow. Did you KNOW His voice?