29 Prophecy Fulfillments, Part 11. Jesus Christ Controls His-Story! Deacon John Medeiros, Samantha McLaughlin Medeiros


June 18, 2021

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache, private
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:09:20 GMT

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache, private
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:08:45 GMT

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache, private
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:07:00 GMT

Jesus Christ controls His-story!

Jesus was in control over how and when He offered His life for all of us.

Jesus was in complete control of every tiny detail even through the final night and day of His life.

 

 

There would also be cruel and lying witnesses against Him.

Prophesied: PSA 35:11

Fulfilled: MAR 14:55-57

 

Please turn in your bibles to Psalm 35.

 

In this Psalm, David appeals to the righteous Judge of heaven and earth against his enemies that hated and persecuted him.

 

Psalm 35 begins by describing the pain of a surprise attack from an enemy.

 

Today, as we continue our study in the 29 Prophecy Fulfillments, we will see that this pain goes even deeper further in Psalm 35.

 

For, it was not an enemy who assaulted David, but a friend.

It was not just an attack, but a betrayal.

 

Please read Psalm 35:11-16.

 

PSA 35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up;

They ask me things that I do not know.

 

PSA 35:12 They repay me evil for good,

To the bereavement of my soul.

 

PSA 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;

I humbled my soul with fasting,

But my prayer kept returning to me.

 

PSA 35:14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother;

I bowed down in mourning, like one who mourns for a mother.

 

PSA 35:15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;

The afflicted people whom I did not know gathered together against me,

They slandered me without ceasing.

 

PSA 35:16 Like godless jesters at a feast,

They gnashed at me with their teeth.

 

 

After David has fallen into the pit that his enemies dug for him, PSA 35:11 “Malicious witnesses rise up…”

 

A crowd gathers and begins to pile on to David’s suffering.

The crowd falsely accuses David.

PSA 35:11… “They ask me of things that I do not know.”

 

Not only has the gossip spread about some grave sin that David has committed, but when he is asked about the gossip, he has no knowledge of the source.

 

It is easy to picture a modern athlete or celebrity at a press conference who is being asked about a particular rumor.

 

Not only has the interviewee never heard the rumor, but he has no idea how something like that could have gotten started.

 

That is David’s position: he has fallen into a pit; once in the pit, he is asked about some crime he supposedly committed in some town he’s never visited.

Sadly, — “Gotcha reporters” — are nothing new!

 

 

What makes these witnesses so vile is that they were known to David.

David knew his accusers — well.

 

They were not just random people on the streets; they were not even mere acquaintances.

 

They were close to David.

In fact they were so close that — when they were sick, the King of Israel put on sackcloth and ashes and mourned on their behalf.

 

The King, who could enjoy any feast of his choosing, chose to fast in the hopes that this dear friend would get better.

 

He humbled himself in prayer and grieved as a person in deepest mourning.

 

In this culture, it was common for a man to take multiple wives.

 

As those wives had children, each son would have many rivals for his father’s affection, but far less rivals for that of his mother.

 

As a result, most boys grew up having the deepest affection for their mother.

 

With this context, you can understand the significance when David compares his mourning for his friend to “one who laments his mother.”

 

My friends, this was a betrayal of the heart…

David deeply loved this person, and did everything within his power to help his friend get better.

 

And How did David’s friend repay him for such sincere devotion?  “They repay me evil for good.”

 

This betrayal absolutely broke David’s heart: “my soul is bereft.”

 

How could anyone repay the kindness, the love, the empathy that David had for his friend with such malicious mockery?

 

The answer to this and EVERY QUESTION is found at the CROSS.

 

David was not alone when he suffered from the hands of those to whom he had shown nothing but love.

 

Jesus Christ was the model of grace to God’s people, and they crucified him for it.

 

His enemies hated Him, plotted to kill Him, tortured Him, and then piled on to all of this shame and dishonor, they mocked Him as He hung dying on the Cross for the sins of the very one’s doing the mocking!

 

David provides a prophecy of the Cross in Psalm 35:11-16.

This may have been an illustration of his own experience, but we see it clearly through the lens of the Cross.

 

We also see several other prophecies fulfilled in this passage that we have already gone into and this should be even more evidence of our Lord’s prophecy fulfillments.

Here are a few that apply to this passage as well:

 

We just saw most of these in our last study:

  1. Isaiah also prophesied the scourging and mocking and physical abuse that He would suffer in Isaiah 50. In Psalm 35, we see David prophesied the same.

 

  1. David prophesied the shame and dishonor that Jesus would suffer, being condemned as a criminal in Psalm 69.

That is definitely happening here in Psalm 35:11-16 as well…

 

We saw in Psalm 22 & Psalm 109

  1. David also prophesied that many would be watching Jesus during the crucifixion.
  2. Some of His observers would shake their heads at Him.

 

Then we see in Psalm 35:11 David specifically points out:

  1. There would also be cruel and lying witnesses against Him. Prophesied: PSA 35:11 Fulfilled: MAR 14:55-57

 

Like vultures gather around a dying sheep, so did strangers gather around the cross and mock our Lord.

 

They tore at Him without ceasing; they lapped up His suffering as guests at a feast; they sneered and gnashed their teeth at Him, while He gave His life for them.

 

I use the pronoun “they,” but perhaps I should use “we.”

 

“Behold the man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders;

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished;

His dying breath has brought me life—I know that it is finished.”

 

I was the one who betrayed my Lord with my sin. And He loved me so much that He died for me.

 

The pain that David expresses in Psalm 35 must have been magnified a million times on the cross.

And Jesus forgave me anyway.

Now He calls me to forgive those who betray me.

 

They reward me evil for good: “This was never more literally true of David, than it was of our Lord Jesus, when, standing before Pontius Pilate, He received no other return from the Jews, for all the gracious words which He had spoken, and all the merciful works which He had done among them, than that of being slandered, and put to death.” (Horne)

 

PSA 35:12 They reward me evil for good, all to the sorrow of my soul.

 

To the sorrow of my soul: To be misunderstood or be made the deliberate target of false accusation is great sorrow.

Here are a several reasons why God might allow such a sorrowful trial:

 

  1. To humble His people.
  2. To cause them to seek Him in urgent prayer.
  3. To prevent them from pursuing the very thing falsely accused of.

4.To test whether His people will rely upon Him in all things.

  1. To teach them how to behave toward others when they are falsely accused.
  2. To warn them against making false accusations against others.

 

  1. To humble His people. 2. To cause them to seek Him in urgent prayer. 3. To prevent them from pursuing the very thing falsely accused of. 4.To test whether His people will rely upon Him in all things. 5. To teach them how to behave toward others when they are falsely accused. 6. To warn them against making false accusations against others.

 

When they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth:

 

This term “sackcloth” refers to the ancient Hebrew custom of indicating humility before God by wearing a coarse cloth, normally used to make sacks, and dusting oneself with ashes.

 

Wikipedia describes sackcloth as:

Sackcloth came to mean a garment made from such cloth, which was worn as a token of mourning by the Israelites. (Wikipedia)

 

It was also a sign of submission (1 Kings 20:31-32), or of grief and self-humiliation (2 Kings 19:1), and was occasionally worn by the Prophets and it is often associated with ashes.

 

David described some of the good that he did for his enemies.

He showed remarkable love and concern for them when they were sick, making their problems his own and caring for them as though they were my friend or brother or even mother.

 

Sadly to report, in Psalm 35:15, But in my adversity they rejoiced:

David treated these enemies well in their adversity, but they were happy in David’s time of crisis. PSA 35:15

 

“This mobbing of one who has suddenly become vulnerable, whose goodness has put men to shame, was eagerly re-enacted at the trial of Jesus.”

 

We see this in MARK 14:55-57

MAR 14:55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.

 

MAR 14:56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

 

MAR 14:57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:

 

The trial against Jesus before the Sanhedrin is a sham on many different levels.

 

First is the motivation for the trial.

 

Since early in His ministry, the Pharisees have wanted Jesus destroyed because He rejects their manmade traditions.

 

Herodians fear He will lead an uprising against Herod Antipas, their tetrarch (ruler) (Mark 3:6).

 

The Sadducees are afraid He will threaten their good relationship with Rome. We will see that soon with our friend Caiaphas.

 

The elders—mostly merchants and businessmen—resent that He tore down the stalls in the Court of the Gentiles (Mark 11:15–19).  And they could no longer conduct business there.

 

The trial has nothing to do with Jesus breaking the Law and everything to do with how He threatens their worldly position.

 

Second, the trial itself is illegal.

 

The purpose of a trial is to determine “if” the defendant is involved in a known crime, using witnesses and evidence.

 

This trial is backwards: it presumes Jesus has committed some crime, and seeks to justify that prejudice.

 

Third, while the Sanhedrin tries to find two witnesses who agree on how Jesus has committed a capital offense, those same witnesses are committing a capital offense.

 

In the section of the Mosaic law on false witnesses, it says, “if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother” (DEU 19:18-19).

 

The witnesses are purposefully trying to convict Jesus of a capital offense; since their witness is false, they should be executed, according to the letter of the law.

 

Finally, so long as Roman authority rules over Jewish territory, the Jews are not permitted to execute anyone, anyway.

 

The involvement of the Sanhedrin might justify their acts to the Jewish people, but it removes the possibility of having Jesus killed in secret—with His popularity, such news would eventually reach Roman ears and result in consequences.

 

Due to the public nature of these events, the Romans would have to carry out an actual death sentence.

 

But that, in turn, makes any blasphemy the Sanhedrin ties to Jesus useless—the Romans don’t care about the Jewish God (John 18:33–35).

 

The Sanhedrin will have to invent an entirely different civil accusation in order to convince the governor, Pilate, to put Jesus to death.

 

Ironically, the chief priest, Caiaphas, gave the true reason for the trial earlier when the Jewish leaders had gathered to conspire against Jesus:

 

John 11:49 “But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, (*that year) said to them, ‘You know nothing at all,”

 

John 11:50 “nor are you taking into account that it is in your best interest that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish instead.'”

 

God inspired him to say these words, but not for the reason Caiaphas assumed.

 

To help us understand this study, here is a little information about Caiaphas:

Those familiar with the Old Testament’s explanation of the High Priesthood will notice that Caiaphas is described as holding his title “that year.”

 

NUM 35:25 tells us that High priests were meant to be appointed for life (NUM 35:25).

 

While the Roman Empire was willing to let conquered territories self-govern, to an extent, they didn’t like the idea of locals holding too much power.

 

So, they installed their own appointed high priests as they saw fit. ( I often wondered about this…)

 

Caiaphas is one of these, a Sadducee, who does not share the Pharisees unique interpretations of Judaism.

 

What he does share is their concern—or at least, their claims—that Jesus represents the kind of threat Rome might respond to with violence. So he does care that Jesus may lead a revolt against Rome.

 

It isn’t any wonder why in drama or literature, Caiaphas is often portrayed as arrogant, cruel, and spiteful.

 

Scripture doesn’t say much about his personality.

 

However, in this case, he’s speaking to—and insulting—an entire council of supposedly educated men.

 

As the nominal leader of the group that deliberately perverts justice so that Jesus will be killed, he’s subject to such criticism.

 

Little of what’s recorded from Caiaphas in the New Testament softens that patronizing, pompous reputation.

 

So in verse 50 of John 11, Caiaphas insults the understanding of his audience.

That audience happens to be composed of fellow leaders and scholars (John 11:47–49).

 

And it is statements such as this which give Caiaphas his extraordinarily poor reputation in popular fiction and drama.

 

He’s often imagined as the stereotypical Pharisee—ironic, since he was a Sadducee, and didn’t hold to rigid Pharisaical interpretations of the Jewish Scriptures.

 

He was appointed to his position by the Romans, though it’s possible that the Jewish people informally considered others, such as Annas (Acts 4:6; John 18:13), to be their “real” spiritual leader.

 

But that doesn’t esteem him anymore worthy, it was Annas and Caiaphas who led the Jewish trials of Jesus (John 18:12–13, 28).

 

That stubbornness persists even in the face of Jesus’ great miracles, most recently in John 11:34-44, the resurrection of Lazarus.

And it was Caiaphas who told the Sanhedrin to arrest Jesus after He raised Lazarus from the dead soon after in John 11:49–50.

 

The Sadducees, including Caiaphas, are far more worried about Jesus’ political impact.

 

At this time in history, Jewish unrest was met with the full might of Roman military strength.

 

In a sense, these men are correct to worry that Rome’s anger might result in the total annihilation of their culture.

 

However, in a divine sense, these men would be more correct to worry about our Lord’s might and His army of angels annihilating their culture. Although this is not the plan of God to be fulfilled.

 

Let me explain a few things about Angels because we have mentioned several times how Jesus could have at anytime brought down His army of Angels.

 

We are going to take it over to Acts 6, and talk about a very brave and courageous young man named Stephen.

 

In Acts 6:8-15 we have a short explanation of why the Jews got angry with Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

 

Scripture does not record exactly what he says that enrages his audience.

 

When they cannot defeat him with logic, they falsely accuse him of threatening the temple, which is the very same charge, we just saw in MARK 14, that the Sanhedrin tried to use against Jesus (Mark 14:57–59).

 

Like Jesus, Stephen has said no such thing.

And, like Jesus, Stephen’s message is far more radical—radical enough for the mob to kill him very soon in Acts 7.

 

Before that happens we read in:

ACT 6:15 “And all who were sitting in the Council stared at him, (Stephen) and they saw his face, which was like the face of an angel.”

 

Contemporary culture sees angels as benevolent beings who come to serve and protect us and fill us with peace.

 

We tend to think someone with “a face like an angel” is sweet and innocent.

 

This leads to an assumption that Stephen looked harmless, benevolent, or peaceful.

 

That’s not necessarily false, but the ancient concept of “angels” wasn’t docile or quiet.

 

Angels in the Bible were more likely to send their witnesses to their knees in terror—Virtually every person in Scripture who sees an angel immediately has to be told not to be afraid (MAT 28:5; LUK 1:11–13; 2:10; ACT 10:3–4).

 

 

In 2 Samuel 24:15-16, after David took an ill-advised census, an angel killed 70,000 men. (2 Samuel 24:15–16)

 

In 2 Kings 19:35, another being described using the term angel killed 185,000 members in Sennacherib’s army. (2 Kings 19:35).

 

Then In Daniel 8:17, Daniel fell to his face in fear when an angel visited him. (Daniel 8:17).

 

In short, angels are massively powerful warriors in God’s army, not chubby infants with wings sitting on clouds and playing cute harps.

 

To say Stephen’s face reminded his audience of an angel speaks more to the evidence of God’s power in his life than anything else.

 

Stephen is clearly not defenseless, either.

 

We know that he is filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly speaking words of truth that his adversaries are powerless to refute in Acts 6:10.

 

The only reason he is before the council is because his opponents have resorted to lies and deceit (Acts 6:11) and the council is more than willing to condemn a Jesus-follower.

 

The Holy Spirit is surely with Stephen.

In Acts 6:8, He has given Stephen the power to perform miracles that identify him as God’s ambassador. (Acts 6:8)

 

ACT 6:8 “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.”

 

“Wonder” is from the Greek root word teras, and “signs” is from the root word semeion.

A wonder is a miracle that reveals a hidden truth, while a sign identifies the miracle-worker as God’s messenger.

 

He has given Stephen the words to say.

And as Stephen dies, He will give Stephen the ability to look into heaven and see Jesus standing at God’s right hand later in Acts 7:55–56.

 

Despite Stephen’s good reputation, wisdom, and submission to God, he will be killed: the first Christian martyr.

 

And Acts 8:1-3 tells us that his death will give his enemies the courage to persecute the other Jesus-followers (ACT 8:1–3).

 

But as the members of the early church flee Jerusalem, they will take Jesus’ message with them.

 

And two thousand years later, Jesus-followers, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, will still spread Jesus’ message around the world, no matter the cost and at no cost here at gbible.org .

 

We will see Stephen again, for now back in John 11:49-50, the Jewish religious leaders ignore the fact that Jesus is not taking on political power (Acts 6:15; John 6:25–27), and will play up His risk as a rebel to Rome in order to have Him killed (John 11:53).

 

They will use His later triumphal entry (John 12:12–19) to prove their fears partly correct: had Jesus wanted it, the people were ready to follow Him, had Jesus wanted He would have summoned His army.

 

In John 11:50, little to his knowledge, Caiaphas’ worries and statement are both prophetic.

John 11:50 “nor are you taking into account that it is in your best interest that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish instead.'”

 

Again no credit to Caiaphas, he doesn’t even understand the impact of his statement, this is all the plan of God.

 

He doesn’t understand yet that Jesus’ death is, in fact, meant as an alternative to the death of sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).

 

His single sacrifice prevents countless souls from being separated from God for eternity (John 11:52).

 

God sent Jesus to die NOT so that the Romans wouldn’t destroy Jerusalem.

He sent Jesus so that the sins of the world could be forgiven (John 11:51–52).

 

Sadly, concerns about Rome crushing Israel will also to come to pass.

 

The sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70, including the destruction of the temple (Hebrews 8:13), will come as a result of Jewish leaders pushing their people to antagonize Rome.

 

Hebrews 8:13 “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is about to disappear.”

 

Verses 8 through 12 contained a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31–34.

 

JER 31:31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,

 

JER 31:32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.

 

JER 31:33 “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

 

JER 31:34 They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.”

 

This was offered as proof that God’s intent was never to use the old covenant—the Levitical priesthood—to obtain the ultimate salvation of mankind.

 

Rather, those rituals and laws were meant to point towards the eventual Messiah (Hebrews 8:5).

 

Hebrews 8:1-2 tells us that Even the tabernacle was intended as an earthly symbol, or a “pattern,” of the real altar in heaven, (HEB 8:1-2).

 

HEB 8:1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

 

HEB 8:2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, not man.

 

Verse 1, (HEB 8:1) indicates that Jesus was seated, implying finished work, that He was at the right hand of God, implying power and authority, and that Jesus was in heaven, implying unmatched praise.

Back in Acts, Jesus was only standing up to welcome Stephen into His kingdom.

Here, the author of Hebrews first introduces the idea that Jesus’ ministry is the actual, eternal plan of God, while what came before was meant to be a symbol.

 

In the book of Exodus, God describes the construction of a temporary building, where Israel was to worship Him (Exodus 25:8–9).

 

This “tent,” or tabernacle, was the appointed place for sacrifices (Exodus 30:10).

Once a year the High Priest would make atonement with the blood of the sin offering.

 

Jesus, as later verses will show, offers His sacrifice, His blood atonement, in a more perfect place: heaven, an eternal place constructed by God, instead of a temporary place built by men (Hebrews 9:24).

 

Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ did not enter a holy place made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;”

 

This verse summarizes a key point:

 

The earthly temple built by Moses was a physical place, filled with physical objects, and used as a center for physical rituals.

 

These rituals were necessary, and important, but could not completely save mankind from their sins.

 

Rather, these were always intended by God as a copy of the new covenant: A shadow of the “real” method God intended to use for our redemption.

 

The holy places referenced here are those of the temple which God instructed Moses to build.

 

These represented a barrier between God and men, since only certain people could enter (Hebrews 9:6–8).

 

The sacrifices offered there represented the weakness of animal sacrifice, since they could only temporarily and partially atone for sin.

 

Anything made with hands, or accomplished by human hands, is inherently temporary and limited, including the Mosaic Law.

 

Christ, in contrast, serves as our high priest in the “real” holy places, in heaven, rather than here on earth.

 

As the next verses will explain, this perfect sacrifice not only occurs in a better place, it has a greater power.

 

Jesus only had to die once, for all sin, rather than follow the limited, repeated nature of animal sacrifices yearly.

 

As this passage continues, these ideas will be used to support the claim that Jesus’ covenant is better than what is offered under the old covenant.

 

And, that this new covenant has always been God’s ultimate plan for the redemption of mankind.

 

HEB 8:13 “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is about to disappear.”

 

This new covenant is superior because it is not based on physical, earthly things (Hebrews 5:9; 9:12).

 

This prediction of a replacement for the Levitical priesthood is not rare or unique in the Jewish Scriptures (Psalm 110:4; Ezekiel 36:26–27).

 

Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

 

Ezekiel 36:27  “And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and follow My ordinances.”

 

This comment in Hebrews 8:13 is also prophetic.

 

Earlier in the chapter, the sacrifices of the priests were described using a present-tense verb.

 

In other words, at the time the book of Hebrews was written, the temple was still being used for ritual sacrifice.

 

This verse, however, indicates that the now-obsolete old covenant is “ready to vanish away.”

 

And guess what, not long after these words were written, the Jewish temple was obliterated by the Romans.

 

As predicted here and elsewhere (Hosea 3:4; Luke 21:6), this ended Israel’s ability to offer official sacrifices, a state which has persisted even until now.

 

Here we meet our next prophecy #24:

  1. David prophesied that Jesus would commit His spirit to God.

Prophesied: PSA 31:5

Fulfilled: LUK 23:46

 

 

 

 

In Psalm 31:5-8, we see David’s confidence in the LORD.

 

PSA 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;

You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

 

PSA 31:6 I have hated those who regard useless idols;

But I trust in the LORD.

 

PSA 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,

For You have considered my trouble;

You have known my soul in adversities,

 

PSA 31:8 And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.

 

PSA 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit:

 

David asked to be delivered from his enemies and their snares, but not so he could live unto himself.

 

He utterly cast himself upon God, committing the deepest part of himself to God, foreshadowing our Lord.

 

Jesus expressed His total surrender and submission to God on the cross when He quoted this line from Psalm 31, in:

LUK 23:46 records that Jesus said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit – and then Jesus gave His last breath on the cross.

 

Our Lord does not surrender His life with grief and despair –  to death for destruction, — this is not a moment of depression, but a moment of triumphant consciousness to the Father for victorious resurrection.

The Messiah Jesus Christ, Savior of our souls and Lord of our lives — had confidence in His Father’s plan, as our example we to should strive to have this confidence.

 

The bible makes it crystal clear that this committal of the soul unto God the Father is not reserved for David and the Son of David alone.

 

As we just saw, Stephen, the first martyr of the church also had the idea of this text in mind with his final words in Acts 7:59.

ACT 7:59 “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!'”

Notice that Stephen addresses Lord Jesus here.

 

According to the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6.1–4, the process of stoning is more involved than simply throwing rocks.

 

Without getting into the stoning process, it’s likely Stephen is saying these words as they are walking him to the place of stoning, not while they are throwing rocks at him.

 

It’s not known how long Stephen has been in Jerusalem, or if he was present at Jesus’ crucifixion, but he’s certainly heard the stories.

 

And so he knows that as Jesus breathed His last, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46).

 

Stephen has just seen Jesus, standing at the right hand of God the Father in Acts 7:55.

 

Acts 7:55 “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;”

 

There is a difference between being notably “full of the Holy Spirit” and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

 

All Christ-followers are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit, JOH 14:17.

 

Being “filled with” the Holy Spirit means a total yielding of our thoughts and actions, we know this from Ephesians 5:18.

 

As painful as his circumstances are, he has full assurance that Jesus is waiting for him.

 

He doesn’t fear dying, because he knows where he’s going (Matthew 10:28).

 

Very few of us today will see Jesus on earth, let alone see Him next to God as the skies open up.

 

But if we trust Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, if we willingly accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we can have the same ending as Stephen: Our souls in Christ’s hands where we will never be taken away (JOH 10:28).

 

I also like to use different translations and here is the ESV version, which is clear to our point:

JOH 10:28, ESV: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

 

(One thing I don’t like about the ESV is that it doesn’t capitalize our Lord in reference, I happen to like the capitalization for few reasons, one of the reasons is that I was raised right, I was raised to revere our Lord.

I learned at a very early age not to use our Lord’s name in vain, I mean saying “Jesus Christ” when something terrible happens wasn’t a thing in the McLaughlin house hold, and it still is not in the Medeiros home. I do remember when my dad would hear it, he would always say – “what did Jesus Christ do to you – did He make you run the red light and get the speeding ticket..?”

 

So notice that it says “I give them eternal life,”… “out of My hand”

In Acts 7:59 Stephen called on the Lord Jesus

ACT 7:59 “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!'”

 

And that is because of verses like John 10:28

JOH 10:28, ESV: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

 

In this verse, Jesus expands on the metaphors He used earlier in this chapter.

 

Jesus explained that those who are “His” are like sheep—they only respond to the voice of their own shepherd.

 

According to verses 1-6 of John 10: How a person reacts to Jesus may prove, or will prove, whether they are, or are not, part of His “flock” (JOH 10:1–6).

 

In verses 7-9 of John 10: Jesus also claimed to be like the single opening in a sheep pen: “the Door” which was the only means of finding rescue from danger (JOH 10:7–9).

 

He also proclaimed Himself the “Good Shepherd,” JOH 10:10–14.

 

Jesus speaks these words while being overtly threatened by His critics.

 

Verses 22-24 we see that they’ve cornered Him in an awkward spot in the temple and are daring Him to repeat His claims (John 10:22–24). Similar to David’s pit here.

 

Rather than simply repeat them, Jesus is expounding on them.

 

This statement is a crucial part of our understanding of the gospel.

 

Jesus has already made it clear that there are only two categories of people, spiritually speaking: those who are “in,” and those who are “out.”

 

These two groups are separated by Jesus Christ, who is “the Door.”

 

Those who belong to Christ are safe from being taken away, as a wolf might grab a sheep in the wild (John 10:12).

 

Here, Jesus uses the same Greek root word found in His description of a wolf who “snatches” a sheep: harpazo.

That’s the same word we see for when He comes back to get His children.

 

Those who are part of Jesus’ flock cannot be taken away.

 

Jesus also makes two crystal-clear, unmistakable references to the nature of the eternal life He offers: it is Eternal Life = 1. Permanent and 2. Irrevocable.

 

Jesus’ literal words in Greek are ou mē apolōntai eis ton aiōna.

 

Ou and mē are both negatives, and eis ton aiōna is somewhat like saying “all the ages,” or “for all time.”

Apolōntai is a reference to loss, condemnation, or death.

 

The eternal life granted by Jesus to His “sheep” cannot and will not ever be stolen, revoked, or lost.

 

This same Greek phrase also echoes Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:16.

 

There, Jesus proclaimed an offer that those who believed would “never perish,” which is translated from the same core Greek words: mē apolētai. (JOH 3:16)

 

So back to Psalm 31:5

 

Into Your hand I commit my spirit: Throughout the bible and history, or His-story, these words were used in dangers, difficulties, and in the article of death.

 

You have redeemed me: David understood that his surrender to God was appropriate because it was God who had redeemed him.

 

He belonged to God both in gratitude for rescue, and in recognition that God had purchased him.

 

In the Old Testament the word ‘redeem’ (pada) is seldom used of atonement: it mostly means to rescue or ransom out of trouble.

 

Redemption is a solid basis for confidence.

We can be confident that our redemption draws near, –our eternal redemption that is.

 

David had not known the Cross as we have, but he rejoiced in his temporary redemption, shall we not rejoice in our eternal redemption and shall we not be confident in our redemption?

 

“Past deliverances are strong pleas for present assistance.” (Spurgeon)

This statement coincides with what we know to be “a fortiori”.

“a fortiori” is an adverb used to express a conclusion for which there is stronger evidence than for a previously accepted one.

 

The principle of a fortiori means “with stronger reason.”

 

Webster’s dictionary gives this definition: “with greater reason or more convincing force.”

 

As an example, we could say that if a friend is capable of giving as a gift one million dollars, it follows under the principle of “a fortiori” that they would have the capacity to give one hundred dollars as a gift.

 

O LORD God of truth: This is a second reason why it was good and appropriate for David to surrender his life to God – because God is the God of truth, and the truth demanded David’s service and allegiance.

David cared about what was true.

 

 

The precise words the Messiah will speak upon His death, as He commits His Spirit to God are prophesied in Psalm 31:5:

Psalms 31:5 “Into Your hand I commit my spirit…”

 

Fulfilled in Luke 23:26:

LUK 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

 

Here is some application:

David wrote these words for the Messiah and Jesus recites them precisely as they were written—in fulfillment of this prophecy.

 

One thing that we have been stressing with these prophecies is that Jesus was in complete control of every tiny detail even through the final night and day of His life.

 

Psalm 31 contains a few important predictions that Jesus carefully fulfilled.

 

It would be a mistake to assume that Jesus’ arrest, trial, scourging, and crucifixion were actions dictated solely by the Jewish leadership and the Roman government.

 

Although these men are personally responsible for their actions—the Lord is also moving these events into alignment so that every prophecy spoken for the Messiah is fulfilled by Jesus’ actions and words.

 

Jesus made it clear that no one could take His life; He was freely giving it—in fulfillment of what had been written of the Messiah.

 

The Old Testament is crammed with hundreds of scriptures which require the Messiah’s death—in order to remove the sins of the world.

 

Jesus was carefully and methodically completing each of these requirements—precisely as they were required.

 

In order to accomplish this great feat, He would need to be in control of absolutely ever minute detail.

And I believe that is why He didn’t drink the wine when He was on the Cross, another prophecy we will see fulfilled in our study.

 

Jesus boldly declared before He was crucified that—no one had the power to take His life from Him.

 

JOH 10:17-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

 

As Jesus is questioned by Pilate and warned that a continued refusal to answer could result in crucifixion, Jesus broke His silence to remind Pilate that he, Pilate, was not in control; only the Father had authority over Jesus’ life.

 

JOH 19:10-11 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

 

When Jesus points out that Pilate’s authority is given by someone else, it’s more than a simple statement of fact, it’s a way of putting the governor in his place (John 19:11).

 

It also foreshadows how the mob will coerce Pilate into his final decision (John 19:12).

 

 

When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane, He made it clear that He was allowing these soldiers to take Him.

 

As the soldiers approach Jesus, He assumes a place of authority by questioning them: Whom are you seeking?

 

When the soldiers answer “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus answers; “I AM.”

The translators later added “He,” but this word was not in the original Greek manuscript of this encounter.

 

By answering “I AM,” Jesus was using the eternal name for God—signifying that it was He, God, who was orchestrating these events that would lead to His death and resurrection.

 

It was a very powerful scene: As Jesus speaks the words, “I AM,” the power of the eternal God bursts forth, causing the soldiers to fall backwards.

 

Jesus was making a very important statement as these men come to take Him by force: He was allowing these soldiers to arrest Him.

 

No one at any time had authority over Jesus.

 

It was He, as the true and living God, acting as man’s Savior, surrendering His life, allowing the soldiers to take Him in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament—so that all those who would believe in Him could be saved.

 

JOH 18:3 So Judas, having obtained the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

 

JOH 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and *said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

 

JOH 18:5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” (I AM) And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.

 

JOH 18:6 Now then, when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

 

When God revealed Himself to Moses in EXO 3:14, He identified Himself as “I Am”.

 

This summarizes God’s nature as the only uncreated, eternal, always-existing Being: He just is, because He must be.

 

Seven times in the Gospel of John, Jesus pointedly used that same phrasing while claiming certain attributes of God (JOH 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1).

 

Here, the claim is made as a blatant show of divine power.

 

Jesus was in control over how and when He offered His life for all of us.

 

When He spoke the words from the cross, Into Your hand I commit my spirit, He did so not only to remind us that He was fulfilling this prophecy written by David, from Psalms 31:5, but also that He was in complete control throughout to the very end.

 

Jesus was very careful to make sure that anyone who would read the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah would immediately realize that it was Him—whom David was describing.

 

Jesus Christ controls His-story!