You cannot change the truth, but the truth can change you.

 

Philippians PHI 4:8 (corrected translation) From now on, members of the Royal family of God, whatever is [keeps on being] true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

 

Of the six principles listed here, the first is “true,” which is the Greek adjective alethe.

 

The Greek word “aleth” = “true”  refers to the doctrines, principles, and policies of God as preserved in His Word, the Word of God and transferred to our souls by the daily function of perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.

 

Therefore, we must “let our minds dwell on these things.”

 

It was the Roman governor Pontius Pilate who asked that most important question in JOH 18:38, “What is truth?”

 

To Pilate, truth was about self-preservation, however, to the One he was addressing, the Lord Jesus Christ, truth meant self-sacrifice.

 

While one (Pilate) was trying to save his flesh, the Other (TLJC) was giving His flesh for the sins of the world.

 

Truth withstands the test of experience, MAT 23:1-3.

 

MAT 23:1 "Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,"

 

MAT 23:2 "saying: 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses."

 

MAT 23:3 "Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and comply with it all, but do not do as they do; for they say things and do not do them."

 

 

In verse 1-2 Matthew has been clear that Jesus is speaking to the crowds gathered in the temple who are listening to Him, as well as to His own disciples.

 

What He says in this verse seems surprising, given His overwhelming condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees throughout the rest of the chapter.

 

These men occupy "Moses' seat," meaning they were responsible for teaching the people of Israel how to properly understand and apply the Scriptures.

 

Jesus tells His audience to do "and observe" what they teach, but not to follow the example of their actions.

 

In other words, Jesus is careful not to invalidate the role given to these men by God.

 

He also endorses the heart of their teaching from the Torah, the Jewish Scriptures, though He will reject their teaching about matters beyond the Scriptures.

 

He is not giving His listeners permission to turn their backs on the teaching of God's Word.

 

Nor is He invalidating all spiritual authorities.

 

On the contrary, Jesus is condemning the religious leaders of His era for failing to meet their very reasonable obligations.

 

Though He accepts the idea of religious leaders and teachers, Jesus bluntly tells those listening to not follow the example of that generation of scribes and Pharisees.

 

Jesus will call the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites repeatedly, at least 6 times in Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29.

 

Here Jesus previews that idea, though not using that exact word: "They preach, but do not practice" or “they do not practice what they teach.”

 

This matches the Greek word hipokritēs, which literally means "an actor."

 

These spiritual guides live in a game of "make believe," or "let's pretend."

 

 

Now, truth (doctrine) will make you stable, secure, and certain concerning the future.

 

Truth, or doctrine, will enable you to be certain, confident, positive, and assured without being arrogant, because a vital aspect of truth is humility, PSA 25:8-9.

 

PSA 25:8 "The LORD is good and upright; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way."

 

PSA 25:9 "He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way."

 

If these virtues are being developed in you, it is a good sign that you are under the right teaching, LUK 6:40.

 

We have the responsibility to check out and verify what we are being taught, ACT 17:11.

 

ACT 17:11 "Now these people were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so."

 

Aletheia (noun form of alethe) means integrity of character.

 

An individual with integrity of character will be constant, dedicated, devoted, loyal, and steadfast.

 

When he lives in aletheia, he will not be hypocritical, phony, or deceitful, but will have the proper motivation.

 

It is impossible to serve the Lord without truth as one’s motivation.

 

You cannot be sincere and serve the Lord; you must possess the truth, Joshua 24:14, 1 Samuel 12:24.

 

Doctrine is the first basic ingredient that the believer needs to serve the Lord; it enlightens the believer and guides the believer in the angelic conflict and spiritual warfare, in PSA 43:3.

 

PSA 43:3 "Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!"

 

Truth leads us to worship God properly, but it is something that we must be taught; it does not come naturally, PSA 25:5.

 

Prayer and Scripture were both important to David.

 

PSA 25:5 "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day."

In this verse David is asking the Lord to lead him in God's truth and to teach him.

 

Notice that David also calls God his Savior and states that he always waits on Him.

 

Despite the pressures of life, including vicious opposition, David endured by anticipating help from the Lord.

 

And we will see how some of, in not most of, that opposition was because of David’s zealousness for God.

 

The apostle John points out that God the Holy Spirit uses the doctrine we have been taught to protect us from deception, JOH 14:26.

 

JOH 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you."

 

The Apostle Paul warns us that in the last days truth will be rejected and deception increase, 2TI 4:3-4.

 

2TI 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires,"

 

2TI 4:4 "and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths."

 

In this passage, Paul presents the third and fourth traits of those who would turn from the true preaching of God's Word in the future.

 

The first and second are 1. Growing tired of the gospel and looking for alternatives.

  1. Seeking out people to tell them what they wanted to hear, rather than what was true.

 

Third, 3. These who fall away will specifically be avoiding the truth.

 

In addition to not enduring sound teaching and finding teachers of their liking, these unfaithful people will literally turn the other direction from the truth.

 

If the truth says to go right, these people go left.

 

They will not live by the truth or even listen to it.

 

Instead of responding to reason, and conviction, they will rebel against it.

 

Fourth, 4. These unfaithful people will stumble through false ideas and myths.

 

Timothy had already been warned about false teachers who were devoting themselves to myths (1 Timothy 1:4) and was warned against this practice in this own life (1 Timothy 4:7).

Paul also gave a similar warning to Titus (Titus 1:14).

 

Once a person is determined to reject the truth, they are prone to believing anything, no matter how silly it might be.

 

Truth alone protects us from deception-not our feelings and emotions.

 

Truth also protects us from many unnecessary self-induced problems.

 

Lying makes a problem part of the future while truth makes a problem part of the past.

 

God desires truth in us, because truth is who God is, PSA 51:6.

PSA 51:6 "Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in secret You will make wisdom known to me."

 

He reveals grace and mercy by His truth, 2PE 3:18.

 

2 Peter 3:18 "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

 

To grow in grace does not mean to get more and more of God's grace, necessarily.

 

Grace, by definition, is unearned, unworked for.

 

By His grace, God has forgiven our sins and given us full rights as His children in Christ.

We can't get more of that.

 

But living under the grace of Jesus provides us a huge opportunity to grow spiritually stronger and deeper.

 

Peter wrote in chapter 1 that we are not missing anything we need to lead the life God calls us to.

Now it's time to do it!

 

One way we grow under the grace of God is to grow in our knowledge of Christ, which is what we have been studying.

 

This implies two ideas.

 

One of these is 1. Knowing more and more about Christ in our minds: information.

 

The other is 2. Getting to know Jesus better and better in our relationship with Him.

 

Both contribute to making us more productive servants (1 Peter 1:8).

 

Peter describes Jesus as both our Lord and our Savior.

 

To really know Him, we must continue to grow in our understanding of what it means to live in relationship to Jesus as Lord and as Savior.

 

And we, like Peter, will reach a single conclusion: Jesus is the one who is due glory both in this moment and forever.

 

He reveals grace and mercy by His truth.

Psalm 85:10-11 points out that none of us could ever face truth if it was not accompanied by grace and mercy.

 

Grace is for our present need; mercy is for our past.

 

In fact, mercy is God’s grace in action directed toward our past.

 

God’s righteousness looks down from heaven on His truth in us.

 

His righteousness and justice are completely satisfied when He sees His truth functioning in man.

 

In JOH 1:14, the Lord Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth, and He said in JOH 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

 

It is through spoken words of truth that the believer becomes clean, JOH 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.” You cannot change the truth, but the truth can change you.

 

Only grace and truth can deliver us from the power of sin and the influence of evil, PRO 16:6.

 

Without truth it is impossible to worship God properly, JOH 4:23-24; JOH 14:15-17 (God the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of aletheia,” the Spirit of doctrine).

 

If anyone loves the Lord he will study His Word, Bible doctrine, 2TI 2:15, 3JO 1:4.

 

Truth will always prevail, even though it is the direct enemy of the kingdom of darkness in spiritual warfare, 2CO 13:8.

 

People involved in religion and self-righteousness despise truth, and Paul said to the legalistic Galatians in GAL 4:16, “Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

 

The key to capacity for life is Bible doctrine resident in the soul.

 

The truth that sets people free is unfortunately the truth that most people refuse to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. David prophesied the shame and dishonor that Jesus would suffer, being condemned as a criminal.

Prophesied: PSA 69:9, PSA 19-20

Fulfilled: MAT 26:55

 

  1. As no bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken (Exo 12:46), not a bone of His would be broken.

Prophesied: PSA 34:20

Fulfilled: JOH 19:32-36

 

These are in no special numerical order.

However, you will see how they all blend into each other beginning with:

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

Prophesied: PSA 69:9, PSA 19-20

Fulfilled: MAT 26:55

 

PSA 69:9 "For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me."

 

Like the majority of our prophecies this passage is pointing out to us underserved suffering, David’s sin was not the only cause of his problems.

He was also rejected and spoken against because of his zeal for God and His house.

 

The zeal connected to God’s house for David was evident in his desire to build God a temple (2 Samuel 7:1-3) and in the diligent preparation he made for the temple that his son Solomon would actually build (1 Chronicles 22:1-5).

 

Yes David was a sinner, but God not only chose David to be one of the greatest Kings of Israel but also to be part of the Messianic line.

God knew what David’s heart would be.

God didn’t look at David’s sin, He looked at David’s heart and David was a man after God’s own heart.

 

In John 2:17 when Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple courts at the beginning of His ministry, His disciples remembered this very passage from Psalm 69:9.

 

PSA 69:9 KJV says: “Eaten me up;

Psalm 69:9, KJV: "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."

 

Quoting Charles Spurgeon here:

“Some men are eaten up with lechery(carnality), others with covetousness (greed), and a third class with pride, but the master-passion with our great leader was the glory of God, jealousy for His name, and love to the divine family.” (Spurgeon)

 

The 2nd part of PSA 69:9

PSA 69:9b The reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me:

David was happy to identify himself with God, counting it an honor to bear the disapproval of those who disapproved of Yahweh. David’s zeal for God was usually why he was in these certain situations.

 

The Apostle Paul referenced Psalm 69:9 in speaking of the sacrificial nature of Jesus in ROM 15:3: For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”

 

This brings us to our first principle that:

Humility is key to living the Spiritual life.

 

 

 

In Romans 15:3, Paul is speaking directly to those who are strong enough in their Christian faith that they feel secure in the grace of God. He is speaking to mature believers.

 

Mature believers feel free to enjoy things formerly restricted for them by the law. Including meat, wine, and not observing special religious days.

 

In a broader sense, Mature believers don't feel led to add additional "do not" restrictions beyond those made clear in Scripture.

 

Paul is saying two important things about this attitude of Christian freedom.

 

First, 1. The mature believers are right to recognize that nothing is, itself, unclean (1 Timothy 4:4).

1TI 4:4 "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;"

Received with a mindset of humility.

 

Second,

  1. Mature believers should be willing to forego that freedom for the sake of those who are not yet strong enough in their faith to participate in those things (Romans 14:1–2).

 

ROM 14:1 "As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions."

ROM 14:2 "One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables."

 

Let’s take a look at our Pastor’s definition of SPIRITUAL MATURITY. It is a long definition so I have it split into four parts on the board for us:

 

Spiritual maturity is the third and final stage of spiritual maturity. It is accomplished by the believer who has advanced in the spiritual life by executing the predesigned plan of God in his or her own dispensation.

 

This high ground of spiritual maturity is attained after the believer passes many tests of undeserved suffering and the various momentum tests.

 

Our study is focusing on underserved suffering.

 

Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with sinless perfection, which cannot ever be realized in this life, but is characterized by virtue developed by an attitude of perseverance despite many failures.

 

The mature believer has attained to the measure of the fullness of Christ, EPH 4:13. The life of the mature believer is also known as the super-grace life, JAM 4:6.

 

Now back in Romans 14, we see an actual situation between the Mature believer and the not-so mature believer where Romans 14:1-2 Paul draws attention to the tension created between Christians because of conflicting ideas.

 

Not every issue in our lives is given an explicit boundary in the Bible.

 

This not only leads to differences of opinion about how we should use our freedom in Christ, but also acts as a window for the kingdom of darkness to cause confusions and interrupt spiritual growth.

 

Here's the scenario: Paul has made it clear, in Romans 7:4-6, that Christians have died to the law of Moses and have been released from our obligation to it.

 

That doesn't mean it's acceptable for Christians to participate in sin. When we do sin we have the rebound technique 1 John 1:9.

 

In the last verses of Romans 13, Paul was very clear that we must cast off works of darkness like drunkenness, immorality, and jealousy (ROM 13:13).

 

When the Bible is clear—and on the truly important issues, Scripture is very clear—then there is no reasonable room for doubt or disagreement.

 

However, what about things that are not clearly sin?

 

Is it okay for Christians to eat meat?

What about meat that has been offered to idols?

What about observing Jewish holidays and Sabbaths?

Is that right or wrong for Christians?

 

In the modern context, this applies to issues which are also not clearly spelled out in Scripture, such as consuming alcohol (ROM 14:21) or watching movies, or listening to certain types of music.

 

Paul's answer to these questions is surprising.

 

First, he refers to those who think of certain foods or items as inherently sinful -- as being weak in faith.

 

He does not mean that these people are not Christians, they have faith in Christ.

Nor does he mean they are all spiritually immature, -- in general.

The "weakness" referred to -- is specifically in this one particular area,-- or for that question alone.

 

Paul means, and here is the more important part, These “weak” believers do not yet fully trust that God has set them free from observing the law or religious rule following. They are ignorant of the grace of God.

 

They struggle to accept his first principle on the attitude of Christian freedom:

  1. Nothing is, itself, unclean (1TI 4:4).

Everything God created is good and can be used for a good purpose with the mindset of humility.. 1TI 4:4

 

Instead of condemning these people, though, Paul speaks abruptly to those, mature believers, of stronger faith in the grace of God.

 

He commands them to welcome those with weaker faith into the full life and Royal Family of God.

 

More, he tells them not to welcome them with an ulterior motive of convincing them they are wrong in our 2nd prin:

 

  1. Willing to forego that freedom for the sake of those who are not yet strong enough in their faith to participate in those things (Romans 14:1–2).

Humility is key to living the Christian way of life. Spiritually mature believers have humility.

 

Strong differences of opinion existed in the early church, as they have in every era of history and still today.

 

Paul makes a distinction between matters of opinion and outright works of darkness like sexual immorality (ROM 13:13).

 

Christians should not dismiss or judge those who differ in these matters of opinion—though they still ought to hold fast on issues which Scripture makes clear.

 

Whatever the issue, Paul's statement about weakness seems to indicate his view is that These “weak” believers do not yet have the strength of faith to be convinced that God's grace has freed them from any of the requirements of the law.

 

Paul will not correct them in this passage, however.

In essence, he will instead tell both sides of these issues to mind their own business.

 

Put more bluntly, Paul said in the previous verse that they should put pleasing their neighbors above pleasing themselves.

 

After all, Paul now writes, they are following Christ. Christ did not please Himself in this life.

He lived a life of self-sacrifice in serving and pleasing others.

 

ROM 15:3: For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” Quoted from Psalm 69:9.

 

In that context, the reproaches—the mockery and criticism—of those who reproached God the Father fell on Christ.

 

By comparison, Paul seems to be saying, strong-faith Christians Mature believers should be willing to look past debating on issues of less importance, such as to give up meat, or give up wine, or to skip the Sabbath, or any other matter of their personal freedom, for the sake of building up their weaker siblings in Christ.

 

 

We will move on to our fulfillment passage:

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

Prophesied: PSA 69:9, PSA 19-20

Fulfilled: MAT 26:55-56 Our Lord reacted in Humility.

 

There is so much to these prophecies and we don’t want to miss out any aspects of them.

Deacon Jason showed us another prophecy that was also fulfilled in MAT 26:55 about how:

The Sheckle in weight and value, is important for us to understand that Christ was sold out for a “robbers price”.

MAT 26:55a “ At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber?

 

Here is a verse that fulfills David’s prophesy of the shame and dishonor that Jesus would suffer while being condemned as a criminal.

 

Our Lord was being treated like He was a actually a threat.

 

The only threat He was, was a threat to expose the Jewish religious leaders for who they really are and He did just that.

 

Our prior prophecy studies showed us that:

Although our Lord was treated with shame and dishonor, He would not react with shame and dishonor. He would, however, react with humility.

 

Matthew 26:47–56 parallels Mark 14:43–50, Luke 22:47–53, and John 18:1–11.

 

This passage paints the scene of Jesus' betrayal and arrest in the garden of Gethsemane.

What is so great about passages like these -- is that -- our Lord -- shows us how to handle similar experiences and trials. How to handle underserved suffering.

 

Most of us have experienced a visual of this scene either on film or scripture readings, and most of us if not all of us have experienced a betrayal or a situation that was blown out of proportion to make the innocent appear guilty or guilty - guiltier…

So I ask you to place yourself at these scene in your minds when listening.

 

MAT 26:55 takes place about the time that Judas arrives leading an armed crowd of soldiers, temple guards, and others, and identifies Jesus to the arresting crowd using a friend's kiss.

 

As recorded in John 18:10, during this time Peter wildly swings a sword and cuts a man's ear off in a misguided effort to defend Jesus.

 

Jesus tells him to put the sword away.

If He wanted saving, He could ask the Father and 12 legions of angels would arrive.

He will not resist.

The Scriptures of the prophets must be fulfilled.

 

Matthew 26:55 "At that time Jesus said to the crowds, 'Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a man inciting a revolt? Every day I used to sit within the temple grounds teaching, and you did not arrest Me."

 

Our Lord knows what is about to happen to Him.

 

Back when Jesus was setting His face like a flint in MAT 16:21 "From that time Jesus began to point out to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up on the third day."

 

However, just because Christ knows what will happen and goes willingly, that does not mean He won't point out the absolute absurdity of the situation. With humility, of course!

 

He turns toward those who have come in a large mob, with swords and clubs, in a secluded garden, in the dark of night.

 

He mocks them by asking --- if they came to arrest a robber.

Did they really expect Him to put up a fight?

 

In verse 55, Matthew 26, Christ points out that He spent many days teaching publicly, coming and going freely, and they didn't seize Him then.

 

Jesus knows why this is, and so do most of the men who came to make the arrest and so do we because we have had a lot of repetition on these prophecies…

 

It was selfishness and pride.

The Jewish religious leaders do not want to stir up the crowds who respected Jesus and thought of Him as a prophet of God (John 11:47–48, 57).

 

They did not want to threaten their position with the people.

 

They wanted to get rid of Jesus quietly, under cover of darkness, which they would attempt to do this very night before the people could figure out what was going on.

 

Part of that plan was to pin Jesus' death on the already-hated Romans, Matthew 27:1–2; Mark 10:33; and Luke 18:32 point that out.

Moving onto the 2nd part of MAT 26:55

 

This is where I would like to point out something quite important:

The Temple was where our Lord taught and therefore as the Temple of our Lord we should always be ready to teach those who desire to learn.

 

MAT 26:55b Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.”

 

Notice how our Lord had no fear in the temple and spoke the word in the temple Himself  though there were those who hated Him and wanted to kill Him.

 

In other words, Jesus taught, even in place where He was not welcomed.

 

As Jesus Christ dwells within us, He desires to use you and I as the Temple that He speaks through today.

 

Again You are His Temple that He is indwelling today.

 

At this very moment you are a walking Temple of God.

 

As a walking Temple of God you should walk by faith, not by sight (2CO 5:7).

 

As a walking Temple of God, you should walk in newness of life (ROM 6:4).

 

As a walking Temple of God you should walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (GAL 5:16).

 

As a walking Temple of God you should walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called (EPH 4:1).

 

As a walking Temple of God you should be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise (EPH 5:15).

 

As a walking Temple of God you should walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (COL 1:10).

 

As a walking Temple of God you should walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1JO 1:7).

 

Matthew 26:56 "But all this has taken place so that the Scriptures of the prophets will be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples left Him and fled."

 

Finally, Jesus emphasizes to everyone present that His arrest and the events to follow will fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.

 

Christ is making it clear that He is going willingly with those who have come for Him (PHI 2:8; MAT 26:42).

 

Nothing is happening which is not supposed to happen.

 

In fact, it's the opposite: this is the moment God has been engineering all along.

 

Jesus will not stop it, because it is the reason He has come (John 18:36–37).

 

At those words all the disciples scatter into the darkness.

 

Matthew writes that they "left him," in the sense that they all abandoned Jesus.

Which is exactly what Jesus said they would do just a few hours earlier in Matthew 26:31.

 

This is a natural reaction to being faced by an arresting mob.

However, it's clear Jesus wanted the disciples to get away for their own safety.

 

They need to be preserved to start, in the coming weeks and months, the work for which He had trained them according to JOH 16:12–15.

 

For now, the disciples will feel the danger of being associated with Jesus.

They will experience the confusion and sadness resulting from His arrest and conviction (John 20:19). All of which we saw He was troubled or agitated about in earlier scripture…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 26th Prophecy and I believe DJK touched on this one a bit, which we are just so totally graced out to have such dedicated deacons who stand in the gap, even when it’s not easy or out of their comfort zones. This prophesy is a pretty cool one, and I will try my best to keep it on the light side:

 

  1. As no bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken (EXO 12:46), not a bone of His would be broken.

Prophesied: PSA 34:20

Fulfilled: JOH 19:32-36

 

Let’s first briefly see EXO 12:46 as it relates to the Passover Lamb:

Exodus 12:46 "It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring any of the meat outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it."

 

David prophesied PSA 34:20

Psalm 34:20 "He protects all his bones, Not one of them is broken."

 

The reason that we need to understand these things about the old testament like the Passover is not so much to help us live the spiritual life, but it is more so to help us understand why certain things had to take place and allows us to understand the tapestry of our God and just how mind blowing He truly is!

 

This chapter, Psalm 34, opens with something David expresses several times: a vow to constantly praise and honor God (Psalm 61:8; 145:1–2). Remember, David had a zeal for God.

 

David's comment about his "boast" being in God relates to Paul's similar references in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 10:17; Galatians 6:14).

2CO 10:17, NASB: "But THE ONE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD."

 

GAL 6:14 "But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

 

The preface to this psalm refers to David escaping from Abimelech by altering his behavior. (Maybe you have seen this scene in the movie King David, with Richard Gere.)

 

This event is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10–15.

 

There, facing capture by the Philistines, David pretended to be insane.

 

In that culture, those suffering insanity were thought to either be cursed by the gods, or specially touched with divine messages.

 

In either case, most people wanted no contact, at all, with such people.

 

What could have become a disaster for David ended in his safety.

 

In this psalm, David gives thanks to God for hearing his prayers, and for protecting him (Psalm 34:4–7).

 

After thanking God for rescue, David turns to appeal to others to trust in the Lord.

 

He says: PSA 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

 

To "taste" means something more than a superficial experience.

Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.

And let us consider the fact that God created these senses, and everything God creates is good.  1TIM 4:4

 

The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us, but more importantly, and you won’t find this in most definitions, to help us understand and perceive the “Word” around us.

 

Those who fully engage in God's will, find that He is powerful and merciful.

 

As a former shepherd, David would have been familiar with lions, and knew - that even those powerful creatures - would suffer without food and shelter.

 

David fully recognizes that faith in God does not make a person immune to hardship (Psalm 34:19).

 

Still, he notes that God provides all that His people truly need (PSA 34:8–10). This falls under the category of logistical grace.

 

The next passage of the psalm is like the words of Solomon: promoting godly wisdom and the relative security it provides (Proverbs 1:7–8).

 

Obedience to God is not a magical defense against all harm (PSA 34:19), but it keeps a person away from unnecessary consequences.

 

Those who want the best outcomes in life are wise to pursue godliness and goodness, rather than sin (Psalm 34:11–14).

 

This is something that we here at gbible.org refer to as:

Divine establishment, even unbelievers can live under the principles of divine establishment.

 

In keeping with those ideas, David then notes that God is aware of the struggles of His people.

He is also aware of the sins of the wicked.

 

Where God's attention for those who love Him is focused on compassion and mercy, His attention to those who are evil is centered on judgment (PSA 34:15–18).

 

In the final section of this psalm, David both acknowledges the reality of underserved suffering and the ultimate rescue provided by God.

 

God's rescue of His people is not always in a physical sense (HEB 11:13–16; 2CO 12:7–10; JOH 16:1–4, 33), but He promises ultimate salvation (JOH 10:28) to those who follow Him (PSA 34:19–22). We just saw a bit of this principle in Hebrews 11 with our invisible heroes.

 

2CO 12:7: "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited."

 

2CO 12:8 "Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me."

 

2CO 12:9 "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

 

2CO 12:10 "Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

 

In an extraordinary experience, Paul was taken to the third heaven. This is the dwelling place of God.

 

There, he was shown things he was not allowed to reveal on earth.

 

The experience was so intense that Paul doesn't know whether he travelled in his physical body or outside of it.

 

In verses 1-6, He insists, though, that it actually happened and God knows the details of how it came to be (2CO 12:1–6).

 

Now in verse 7, Paul adds that what God showed him were "surpassing great" revelations.

 

Pastor has taught us that Paul saw what eternity would be like, and know knew things the rest of humanity could never know.

 

Such an unmeasurable gift would have given Paul seemingly limitless confidence to keep preaching, despite terrible suffering.

 

It also gave him the perspective that Such suffering in this life was not worth comparing to the glory of eternity (2CO 4:17).

 

Earlier, Paul warned readers he was going to start sarcastically bragging about his qualifications as an apostle.

 

This was meant to spoof his self-promoting opponents in Corinth.

 

In reality, Paul mostly described his weaknesses and suffering.

 

His motivations are clear.

God said His "power is made perfect in your weakness" (2CO 12:9).

 

The Greek word being used there teleitai, refers to completion or accomplishment.

 

Paul wanted to show how much weaker he was, as a person, in comparison to his opponents.

 

Then the Corinthians would know just how powerful Christ was, as they looked to and through Paul's life.

 

In that way, Paul has turned boasting upside down.

 

It's not that he doesn't care if others think he is weak.

It's that he truly is weak and he wants everyone to know it.

 

For the sake of Christ, he is content, even with all sorts of trials and suffering.

 

He has made peace with the fact that such weakness in his life is exactly what is needed.

 

It is what pulls Paul's earthly self aside, leaving room for Christ's strength to accomplish what God has called Paul to do.

 

Believers must trust God the most in areas of their lives where they are weakest, or where they suffer the most.

 

God's power is never more convincing than when a human perspective produces no answer about how to get through what confronts us.

 

In that same seemingly-backwards way, Christians who are trusting God are most powerful when they have the least self-reliance.

 

God's power is far more capable than our own.

 

Back in PSA 34:19–22, David points out that - God promises ultimate salvation to those who follow Him (PSA 34:19–22).

 

All of this brings us to David’s comment in this last passage of Psalm 34, which is the reference to broken bones.

 

Verse 20 mentions God preventing the bones of the righteous from being broken.

 

In immediate context, this is clearly hyperbole: an exaggeration for effect.

David is not saying that Believers in Christ will never break bones…

 

David's main point is that God is infinitely capable of protecting His people.

 

However, this statement also serves as a prophecy about the death of the Messiah.

 

Passover lambs were to be prepared without breaking the bones (Exodus 12:46), and Jesus was crucified without suffering any such injury (John 19:33–37).

 

Paul notes that Jesus serves as the fulfillment of the Passover lamb type (1 Corinthians 5:7)—this comment by David is part of that foreshadowing.

 

Psalm 34:20 "He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken."

 

In a prophetic sense, this ties the details of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross (John 19:33–37) to His role as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7; Exodus 12:46).

 

The word "keep" is translated from the Hebrew sō'mēr', which means to "exercise great care over."

 

It is comforting to know God has such deep concern for us.

 

In Bible times a shepherd led his sheep, sometimes even carrying one on his shoulders.

 

The shepherds, to whom angels delivered the news of Jesus' birth, were "keeping watch over their flock by night" (LUK 2:8).

 

Similarly, Jesus the Good Shepherd keeps watch over His flock (JOH 10:14).

 

Like shepherds in Bible times who led their sheep, Jesus goes ahead of us to protect us from harm (JOH 10:4).

 

Matthew 10:30 shows us that the Lord's watchful care of us is so complete that He knows how many hairs are on our head (MAT 10:30).

 

 

Now we will get into our fulfillment passage:

  1. As no bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken (Exo 12:46), not a bone of His would be broken.

Prophesied: PSA 34:20

Fulfilled: JOH 19:32-36

 

JOH 19:32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other who was crucified with Him;

 

JOH 19:33 but after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

 

JOH 19:34 Yet one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

 

JOH 19:35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

 

JOH 19:36 For these things took place so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”

 

Beginning with verse 32:

JOH 19:32 "So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him."

 

Again, I apologize in advance for getting graphic but this prophecy’s impact truly comes together when you look in detail. I will be gentle but it is a powerful thing to see a prophecy fulfilled like this, that after all our Messiah endured, He did not have one bone broken…

Crucified victims were usually nailed through the wrists and ankles such that pain would be maximized, and blood loss minimized.

 

Infection, exposure, and animals were just as likely to kill the condemned as bleeding to death.

 

The posture of slightly bent knees and outstretched arms meant the chest was naturally pulled open.

 

This made it difficult to exhale.

 

Only by pressing up on the nails, primarily by the feet, could they take a decent breath.

 

Over time, fatigue and shock would make this too difficult, and death by asphyxiation—suffocation—would follow.

 

To accelerate the process of death, executioners would use a heavy rod to shatter the shin bones.

 

This not only made it impossible to lift one's body.

 

It also added to the shock, blood loss, and general trauma.

 

Even so, this was considered an act of mercy.

 

Without such measures, a victim could take hours, even days, to die.

 

Since this is a time of religious celebration (John 19:31), the Jewish leaders don't want the city defiled by leaving corpses hanging on the sabbath (Deuteronomy 21:23).

 

The Roman governor isn't going to object to that request, so he approves breaking the legs of these three men (John 19:18).

 

Jesus, however, had been flagellated so badly (John 19:1) that He needed help to carry His cross to the execution site (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26).

 

By the time this order to break Jesus' legs is given, He is already dead, and there is no reason to carry it out (John 19:33–34).

 

JOH 19:33, "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break His legs."

 

John has noted several instances where Jesus' crucifixion fulfilled prophetic statements in the Old Testament.

 

Jesus' death without any broken bones is one such fulfillment.

 

A major component of Passover symbolism (1 Corinthians 5:7) is the sacrifice of a spotless lamb, with explicit care taken not to break bones (Exodus 12: 43–46; Numbers 9:12).

 

Our prophesy verse Psalm 34:20 makes a similar reference, and this is the verse John will cite in this passage in John 19:36.

 

When the soldiers come to hurry Jesus' death, it's clear He's already dead (John 19:30).

 

This was obvious enough to the executioners that they don't even make the effort to break His legs (John 19:32).

For whatever reason, one of the attending soldiers decides to be sure Jesus is really dead.

 

Perhaps at the request of Pilate (Mark 15:44), using a spear thrust - the Roman executioners will leave no doubt (John 19:34).

 

The result of this attack is a gush of blood and water, much easier and less messy though than of breaking legs.

 

John, who describes this scene, was very close to Jesus when it happened (John 19:25–27).

 

The gory, graphic image of bodily fluids pouring out of Jesus' side left no doubt that He was dead.

 

Were Jesus in perfect health prior to this moment, such an injury would have been fatal.

 

In this situation, it's evidence that Jesus succumbed to blood loss and shock as fluid built up around His heart.

 

There is no question, at all, that He's dead.

 

Among the sillier claims made about Jesus is that He survived the crucifixion.

Some claim He then pretended to have been resurrected, or simply escaped.

 

What Jesus experienced, however, was enough to kill Him several times over.

 

Let’s just recap how absurd these refutes truly are:

Scourging victims often died from their injuries (John 19:1).

 

Infection, shock, and blood loss from crucifixion were fatal (John 19:18).

 

Having a spear impaled through the chest, resulting in a gush of fluid, is an immediately lethal wound.

 

A person left locked in a tomb for three days would have succumbed to infection and dehydration (Matthew 28:1–10).

 

There is no reasonable way to suggest that Jesus survived all these things, only to convince people later that He was a victorious, resurrected Messiah.

 

Having a first-hand look at this graphic scene, and knowing that Jesus is indisputably dead, leads John to emphasize His own account in the next few verses (John 19:35).

 

JOH 19:35 "He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe."

 

This verse may actually seem confusing at first, which is one of the reasons we get into detail with scripture.

 

John does not explicitly name himself, preferring the typical third-person view of ancient literature.

 

However, there are ample clues that he is identified by phrases such as "whom Jesus loved" in John 13:23, "the disciple whom [Jesus] loved," in John 19:26, and so forth.

 

John began this gospel by declaring that the writer had witnessed these events first-hand (John 1:14).

This is a claim John will repeat in his letters 1 John 1:1–2 and Revelation 1:1–2.

 

In this case, John was the disciple in question at the foot of the cross (John 19:26) when Jesus died (John 19:30).

 

He was also there to see soldiers break the legs of the other condemned men (John 19:32), but not Jesus, who was already dead (John 19:36).

 

He was there to see a spear stabbed into Jesus' side, resulting in a gory flood of bodily fluids (John 19:34).

 

JOH 19:35 "He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe."

 

John's reason for including this declaration seems to have two purposes.

 

In one sense, this expresses the horror of what He saw.

 

Intense awareness that one has seen something awful is part of the trauma eyewitnesses experience.

 

After seeing some significant event, most especially distressing ones, witnesses often emphasize the fact that they saw it: "it happened right in front of me," "I watched the whole thing," "I saw everything," and so forth.

This was engraved in John’s mind.

 

John saw His beloved Master maimed and murdered, then watched a soldier mutilate the corpse. That would have been harrowing, to say the least.

 

The other reason John emphasizes this point is the main purpose of his gospel in the first place (John 20:30–31).

 

The disciples of Christ wanted others to know the truth, and to be confident in it (1 John 5:13). Which is exactly why we study, to be confident in the hope that lies within us.

 

1JO 5:13 "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life."

 

Others might deny some of these events, but John can say with absolute certainty that he was there when it happened (2 Peter 1:16).

 

John 19:36: "For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”" Again, these religious leaders must not have read their own scrolls…

 

Old Testament prophecy comes up several times in John's description of the crucifixion. And now we know why when someone asks can you show me prophesy, some of us may respond with “which ones, there are so many”… And obviously not all of them are covered in our study of 29, but we believe there are over 350 alone about our Lord.

 

We saw earlier, as Jesus was dying, soldiers rolled dice to split up His clothes (JOH 19:23–24).

This connects to Psalm 22:18, which depicts an innocent man suffering at the hands of His enemies.

 

Jesus is given a vile liquid in response to His thirst (John 19:28–29). John sees this as an echo of Psalm 69:2. We will see this with our next prophecy.

 

And we just looked at the fact that in order to speed up Christ’ execution, the Roman governor gave permission to break the legs of the condemned men (John 19:31–32).

 

Jesus was already dead by then (John 19:33), though a soldier confirmed this by impaling the corpse with a spear (John 19:34).

 

The reference cited here is Psalm 34:20, which speaks of God's ultimate rescue of those who are righteous.

 

The prior verse (PSA 34:19) speaks of God delivering the righteous "out of" their suffering.

 

While Jesus is killed on the cross, He will soon be Resurrected: a rescue "out of" death that demonstrates His divine nature.

We too will be resurrected - rescued “out of” death.

 

The fact that Jesus did not break any bones also corresponds to His role as the perfect Passover Lamb in accordance with 1 Corinthians 5:7.

 

We saw this recently with our study and how we are already unleavened:

1 Corinthians 5:7 "Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed."

 

Israel sacrificed spotless lambs at Passover (Exodus 12:5), being careful not to break their bones (Exodus 12:46).

 

This should leave us with no doubt that a sinless man (Hebrews 4:15) has been killed without broken bones corresponds to these prophetic images.

 

 

His willingness to be the ultimate sacrificial Passover Lamb -- would make it possible for the sins of those who shame and dishonor Him to be forgiven (Romans 5:8–11).

 

ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

 

ROM 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

 

ROM 5:11 And not only this, but we also celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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