Many great believers are those whose life was seared with scars.


Week ending in: 030120
Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
Many great believers are those whose life was seared with scars.
We noted this past week the principle that more information is given concerning the details of the Cross in the Old Testament then there is in the entire New Testament. I also made this statement that I think is important for all of you to hear once again: and that is the fact that: I won’t apologize for the graphic nature of some of the physical descriptions of our Lord because His scars and wounds, which are now in heaven with Him in His human body as He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, are a memorial to His unfailing and unconditional love toward us all. Those scars and wounds will remain forever as a sign of His unfailing love toward us and they will remain in our heart forever as an expression of His mercy and grace.
REV 4:11, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
Then in REV 5:1-7, “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’ And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it. And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals. And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
Now, we all know our Lord was crucified. And I would strongly advise all of you to read our book on The Cross which is guaranteed to increase your love and honor and respect for the Lord and His people (click here to read, download or order book).
Few of us realize how painful and gruesome crucifixion was. In fact, in our book I noted that for approximately two thousand years now, the cross and all the physical sufferings of our Lord has been replaced by a subtle elevation of beauty and magnificence that did not exist while our Lord was on the Cross. The only beauty that was on the Cross was spiritual not physical. The victorious assets from the Cross has been replaced by the beauty and non-offensive way Christians portray our Lord on the Cross to look like while He was suffering physically. Most believers know, but do not believe or live in the fact that; out of suffering has come some of the greatest believers ever known, and they have lives seared with scars.

In fact, I have said for years that the true sufferings of our Lord are only a glimpse of the real sufferings that He has endured for us both physically and spiritually. Most of the images of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross are pretty clean and usually white or non-offensive, as He looks like a skinny little hippie with sad eyes – it’s pathetic and pitiful. It’s a sorry expression of the sufferings of our Lord upon the Cross when He is portrayed as a man who looks like He’s just taking a nap, nothing could be further from the truth.

It looks like He stepped out of a shower, climbed up on the cross, and had some nails driven through his hands and feet…which hardly bled at all. MY friends that is NOT how our Father wants us to view the Cross. For example, 1CO 1:17-18, For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void. For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The principle here is the importance of the effects of the power of the Cross on the Old nature and upon the New Nature. My point is: Don’t try to portray the Cross as a means of death because the Cross does not look like a man who has long hair, with a weak physical body, looking like a hippy from the 60’s, it was far worse than that. And I thought I would begin this morning with a Psalm which is known as the “The Psalm of Crucifixion” or “A Song about The Cross.
It is vital to understand that throughout the Bible there are many cases of man’s failure with God and God’s faithfulness to man. However, there are also certain Bible characters that represent to us the grace and mercy that the Lord uses to give us the confidence. This is a principle of doctrine that none of us should ever get use to or too familiar with, but we should always be ready to apply it: 1PE 3:15, …always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,
It is important for us to remember what kind of people our Lord can and does use? And what kind of people were they? They were just like you and me, the kind who is described in the Bible by their failures. For example, Noah got drunk and that brought self-induced misery upon himself and His family.
Abraham willfully lied about Sarah being his wife and for self-survival he deceived two kings by lying to them about his relationship with her saying that she was his sister while covering the real truth that Sarah was Abraham’s right woman (GEN 12:10-20).
Abraham willfully lied here, and yet the Lord still came through for him. Why? Because our Lord does not keep an account of our sins, instead He had them judged not because of us but in spite of us. Now, did Abraham, also called the father of our faith, learn his lesson not to lie especially to kings? The answer is No!! He did not learn the lesson (GEN 20:1-18).
All of this is because of the effects of the Cross. So again, what kind of people were they? They were just like you and just like me and they are described to us in the Bible by their failures and actions. Sarah was known for being impatient. Isaac was known for being afraid and living in fear. Jacob was a cheater. Moses lacked confidence and stuttered. Gideon was insecure. Samson was an adulterer. Elijah was moody. King David seduced and practically raped Bathsheba and oh yeah committed murder (Uriah). Jonah tried to run from God. Thomas was a doubter. Paul was a murderer.
Now, how important are all these principles according to the Word of God? They are all extremely important because they were all given a prophecy concerning the Cross hundreds of years before the cross was even invented as a torture for criminals. Now, PSA 22 is known as the Psalm of the Crucifixion, because it gives to us what our Lord was thinking, saying, and doing while on the Cross.
Both the Old and the New Testaments teach about the Cross of Christ but the Old Testament is where we find out the details concerning the Cross and the mental attitude of our Lord during those three hours of darkness while he hung on the Cross. So, before we go on in our study of Judas Iscariot, the traitor and betrayer, look at PSA 22 which talks about our Lord’s character and integrity.
PSA 22 has right­fully been called the Crucifixion Psalm. In fact, it begins with the phrase “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and ends with the phrase “It is finished”. This Psalm is a photograph of our Lord’s darkest hours and a record of His dying words. This is a Psalm that increases and intensifies our love and appreciation for the sufferings that our Lord went through just for us.
I want you to look at PSA 22 as a love letter from someone who loves you so much that He desires to be intimate with you at perhaps the most difficult time He ever went through. As I told you before, there are five words that I said the Holy Spirit wants to emphasize in our Life as He changes us and one of those words are expressed in this Psalm which is the word “intimacy.” Well, the word isn’t used but it is inferred to in the Psalm.
In PSA 139:1-3, notice what David wrote with his lyrics; (For the choir director. A Psalm of David.) O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, And art intimately acquainted with all my ways.
You may not be intimate with Him, but He is intimate with you. The sad thing is that the average believer could care less about whether or not the intimacy is there. Can you imagine, ladies especially, because they usually have a greater than man, but can you imagine someone who claims to love you so much but they won’t even read one of the Love Letters the Lord has sent to every believer. Oh, they say that they are in love with the Lord, but they refuse to even open up the love letters their Lord has sent them. Their actions speak so loudly, you don’t hear a word that they say.
Now, in PSA 22, David takes us deep into the horrors of the cross while at the same time we are made to see the fruits of the Lord Jesus Christ and His passion in the establish­ment of His kingdom among men. Even though the Psalm was the expression of a personal anguish on the part of David, cry­ing out and saying, PSA 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?, this in no way invalidates the claim that this was to be a prophecy of the TLJC upon the Cross.”
This of course was quoted by our LORD in MAT 27:46. It was a phrase that caused the Jews to mock but the elect angels to rejoice. PSA 22:2 states the unanswered prayer of our Lord on the Cross, “O my God, I cry out by day Day refers to the [first three hours, 9 a.m. ‑ 12 noon] and then by night there is no silence for Me [the continued prayer of our Lord during the darkness that surrounded the cross from 12 noon ‑ 3 p.m. when He was being judged for our sins].”
PSA 22:3 tells the reason why that prayer could not be answered in one phrase, “You are Holy. You who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” Now, here’s where the intimacy of God the Father was imputing our sins to Christ and judging them from His Holiness. Therefore, He couldn’t answer the prayer for deliverance on the Cross. The Lord Jesus Christ knew that however things may look, there is no injustice and unfairness with God. Many people speak evil of God when they are going through His afflicting hand but not so with the Lord.
In PSA 22:4‑5, Jesus even pointed out to the Father that He had previously delivered Israel under stringent conditions. “Our fathers trusted in You [faith‑rest]; they trusted, and You delivered them [You answered their prayers]. They cried out to You in prayer and were delivered; they trusted You and were not disappointed.”
Out of all their difficulties and miseries, their faith brought them out of it by calling God to the rescue but in the case of our Lord, His perfect faith brought no assistance from Heaven. Think about this intimate statement: Of all the ones who ever trusted in God throughout their lifetime, He would be the only one forsaken by God. And of course, we will never be, HEB 13:5 “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
So why couldn’t our Lord’s prayer be answered? The reason is given in PSA 22:6, “But I am a worm.” He was being crushed for our sins, so that you and I, as royal family of God, could wear the crimson robe of the royal family forever.
Our Lord felt Himself to be comparable to a helpless, powerless, down-trodden worm, passive while crushed and unnoticed and despised by those who walk upon Him. PSA 22:6   But I am a worm, and not a man means “I no longer even look or appear human.” 
Not only does He say this, but Isaiah said, ISA 52:14-15, “Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men. Thus, He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.”
PSA 22:2-6, “O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In Thee our fathers trusted; They trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. To Thee they cried out, and were delivered; In Thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, and not a man, and then He says a reproach of men, and despised by the people.”
The very people who would once have crowned Him have now condemned Him. The very ones who benefited from His cures now despised Him, how quickly people forget.
PSA 22:7, All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, {saying,}
These were gestures of contempt and hatred that were fulfilled in MAT 27:39‑40. Priest and people, Jews and Gentiles, soldiers and civilians, all united together to hurl abuse at Him, mock Him while He was dying for those very sins. Which makes you wonder the most, the cruelty of man or the love of the Savior?
PSA 22:8 gives some of the verbal sarcastic abuse of the crowd. PSA 22:8, “Commit {yourself} to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.” Our Lord’s prayer was heard by all who were there, and they saw that it couldn’t be answered! But they didn’t understand the reason–because He was bearing their sins and our sins in His own body on the Cross.
The only prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ that could not be answered could not be answered because it was the way of our so‑great salvation. He was being judged for our sins; He was our substitute; He was taking our place. During His time on the Cross, He could only be judged; and during His judgment His prayer could not be answered. PSA 22:8 was fulfilled in MAT 27:41-43, In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking {Him,} and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the Cross, and we shall believe in Him. He trusts in God; let Him deliver {Him} now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’“
Reminds us of HEB 12:3, For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
 
PSA 22:9, Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust {when} upon my mother’s breasts.
In PSA 22:11, Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.
His great sorrow was that God had forsaken Him, His great prayer is that He would be near Him.
In PSA 22:12, Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong {bulls} of Bashan have encircled me.
 
This was fulfilled in MAT 27:1  Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death;
PSA 22:13, “They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion.”
This was fulfilled in MAT 26:59-60, Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find {any,} even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward,
Like hungry cannibals they opened their blasphemous mouths as if they were about to devour the one they hated. They could not vomit forth their anger and jealousy fast enough.
PSA 22:14, turning from His enemies, our Lord describes His own personal condition, “I am poured out like water,” This took place in LUK 22:44, And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
PSA 22:14, “I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint;” His bones were out of joint but not broken, JOH 19:36, For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”
PSA 22:14, “My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.”
MAR 14:33-34, And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death;”
PSA 22:15, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws” [there’s your JOH 19:28 passage and why He cried out “I am thirsty”; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death.”
PSA 22:16, “For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me;”

 

Fulfilled in LUK 23:10-11, And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.
Then the Psalmist goes on to say “They pierced my hands and my feet.” This was a fulfillment of ZEC 12:10 and another reason why this Psalm does not ultimately refer to David.
PSA 22:17, “I can count all my bones.”

 

This was a fulfillment of ISA 52:14, Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men.
And then the Psalmist writes: “They look, they stare at me;” Who are they? They are those found in MAT 27:36, And when they had crucified Him, they sat down and they began to keep watch over Him there.
PSA 22:18, They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
MAT 27:35, And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots;
PSA 22:19-20, “But Thou, O Lord, be not far off; O Thou my help, hasten to my assistance. Deliver my soul from the sword, My only {life} from the power of the dog.”
PSA 22:21, “Save me from the lion’s mouth; And from the horns of the wild oxen Thou dost answer me.”
The Lion’s mouth is a reference to Satan in 1PE 5:8, Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
You can be sure that the devil as the “roar­ing lion” closed in on TLJC unlike any other man with such a rage. Never was the devil so determined to wreck a soul. Without a doubt he threw in all that the kingdom of darkness had at their disposal. In fact, the Lord said this was the hour of the power of darkness, and that Satan would come but would find nothing in Him.
LUK 22:53, “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
The truth of the matter is that here where Satan did his worst, Jesus Christ did His best. The Cross is where the adversary was stripped of his authority. For the Lord Jesus Christ bore in His body on the cross the sins of all men, and therefore annulling the rights of the evil one to accuse and enslave them.
The twenty-second Psalm does not close without proclaim­ing this fact:
PSA 22:31, They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed {it.}
It is declared that all the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord.