Grace Bible Church
Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree Of Life
Week Ending 6-20-21
“Jesus Christ Controls HIS-Story At All Times – He Is The G.O.A.T”
In this lesson we will examine -Prophecy # 21 - Intercession for sinners, and fulfillment (Isa 53:12, Lk 23:34)
-The need for our own intercessory prayer
-Prophecy # 10 – cruel and lying witnesses, and fulfillment (Ps 35:11, Mk 14:55-57)
-The wounds of a friend, redux
-Hypocrisy: breaking the law in the name of justice...
-Out with the old, in with the new…..covenant!
-Prophecy # 28 – “I commend my spirit” and fulfillment (Ps 31:5, Lk 23:46)
-Jesus Christ gave His life willingly and died willfully! The G.O.A.T.
Continuing our 29 prophecies series with our next prophecy
21. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would make intercession for sinners. This intercession began even during His crucifixion.
Prophesied: Isa 53:12
Fulfilled: LUK 23:34
Now I mentioned this earlier with the way our Christ Loved even His enemies, but let’s see how the Prophet Isaiah lays it out.
Isa 53:12 “Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.”
--He prayed upon earth for all sinners, and specifically the ones that crucified Him, and in Heaven He still intercedes for them, by the legal demand of the things He purchased; by the sacrifice of himself which though in the past, He continually represents to His Father, day and night in the present.
--We know that presently, Jesus has a ministry of intercession.
Heb 7:25 “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Heb 7:25 speaks of intercession for us the saints. This prophetic passage refers to Jesus’ prayers on the cross itself, as explained in the context of the King conquering something and sharing the spoils of war. So much that He even gives up His life as a sacrifice. He was to take on the iniquities of the transgressors as a means to defeat the enemy. Even so for the enemy’s sake of their own transgressions. So what war is this referring to? the Spiritual war of death and Hades, that He overcame by Ultimate Victory over.
This means the work of the Messiah is made available to transgressors. It is when we see ourselves as transgressors that we can reach out and receive His salvation. These transgressors can not see that even the act He is performing in Victory is how He makes available intersession and deliverance, even to them as they are living in the carnality of their sin.
Such is The Depravity of Man!
Luke 23:34 “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”
Here again we see the unfailing love of Jesus Christ! On the cross, He prayed even for His executioners, asking God the Father to not hold this sin against them. Jesus probably prayed in this manner because it was a habit of His thinking. Sound familiar??? We saw this verse on Sunday:
Ps 130:3-4 “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”
Now let’s look briefly at Mat 5:44. Jesus not only fulfills the prophecy, but His own command also, to “love your enemies”. Jesus practiced what He preached!!!
Jesus’ teachings always convict us, because they directly contradict our natural sinful ways. Everything in our fallen nature tells us to do the opposite of what God commands. It is easy to see why Jesus’ message is so misunderstood and so rejected in the world, and why people say “it makes no sense!” It is also the reason we can never emulate it with our own human power, and why we need divine, supernatural power in order to execute the PPOG. God says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isa 55:8). It can not be understated! Here the Lord Jesus gives a stunning and astonishing command:
Mat 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the Gentiles, do they not do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
What a powerful lesson to the disciple, a “new” way to look at things and one very few of them even see. Even us for that matter… get beyond the “mad”. Why are you so MAD. Get over yourselves, most of the things that cause strife in our lives are little worth the effort of allowing ourselves to be dragged down and taken out of fellowship with God. They are designed to distract you (by you know who, Satan and his minions and cronies). This type of distraction can take you, being subtle or a full blown attack, away from God and your advancement in the Spiritual life. When you comply, you only give Satan a chance to accuse you before the Throne in the presence of God (Zec 3:1). When we are focused on self, we are focused on how others treat us; when we are focused on JESUS CHRIST (PSD#10 – preoccupation with the person of Christ), and on carrying our cross, i.e. our mission in the PPOG, we are able to fulfill this commandment. Impersonal love toward all mankind (including our enemies) rests on personal love toward God, the two are interdependent. When we are preoccupied with self in immaturity, we can never love our enemies, and we can never execute the unique spiritual life which God has predesigned and predestined for our lives.
Alright now Back in the fulfillment passage,
For they do not know what they do: In this section, who was the one whom blinded them or deceived them? You guessed it – SATAN and his KOD (2Cor 4:4). But, yet another blow is delivered to Satan as Jesus recognized the blindness of His enemies in His prayer. Even while going through the agony of the Cross. This did not excuse the guilt of those who put Jesus on the Cross; but Jesus set His enemies in the best possible light in His prayer to the Father. We must learn to pray with the same heart, after the same pattern that Jesus did - which is in impersonal ‘agape’ love. That is how Stephen did it (Act 7:60)
Act 7: 59-60 “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.”
Praying for someone, particularly those who wrong us, shows your growth and maturity in Love (unconditional); and love covers a multitude of sin. That is what Peter & James tell us in the NT,
1Pet 4:8 “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Jam 5:20 “let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Next up is prophecy #10 (remember, in no particular order)…
Something to bear in mind as we delve into these prophecies, as they should make it clear:
*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
Psalm 35 begins by describing the pain of a surprise attack from an enemy. In this Psalm, David appeals to the righteous Judge of heaven and earth against his enemies that hated and persecuted him. We revisit the pain of betrayal, for, it was not an enemy who assaulted David, but a friend.
It was not just an attack, but a betrayal.
Turn to Ps 35:11-16 and read. I will give the two most relevant verses here:
Ps 35:14-15 “I went about as though it were my friend or brother;
I bowed down in mourning, like one who mourns for a mother.
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.
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 friends. In spiritual combat, it is often those closest to us who are used by the KOD to try to neutralize us and remove us from the battlefield. The devil knows our weak spots better than we do – it is his business to know!
This is a deeply hurtful betrayal, these conspirators were close to David. 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. In 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.
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. Someone else would be betrayed by those whom He had shown love to and welcomed into His confidence. 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 Ps 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:
- 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.
- 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…
- David also prophesied that many would be watching Jesus during the crucifixion.
- Some of His observers would shake their heads at Him.
Then we see in Psalm 35:11 David specifically points out:
- There would also be cruel and lying witnesses against Him.
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 (all of us) to forgive those who betray me.
Ps 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:
- To humble His people.
- To cause them to seek Him in urgent prayer.
- To prevent them from pursuing the very thing falsely accused of.
4.To test whether His people will rely upon Him in all things.
- To teach them how to behave toward others when they are falsely accused.
- To warn them against making false accusations against others.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.
Yet David reveals in Ps 35:15 “But in my adversity they rejoiced”
“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.”
Mk 14:55-57 “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. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 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 man-made traditions and laws which they added to the original codices.
Herod’s supporters also fear He will lead an uprising against Herod Antipas, their tetrarch (ruler) (Mk 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 (Mk 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. And to top it all off, the trial itself is illegal! Under the law, trials were to be held during the day – night trials were forbidden. Get the picture: the “holy men”, the very symbol of (human) righteousness, who would not even walk on the same side of the street as a “sinner”, actually broke and disregarded their own sacred laws in order to convict an innocent man, for BREAKING THE LAW! If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will! But, it is not my intention to say, as they did, “Thank God for not making us like them”. Far from it, for we all have the same sin nature as they had, and are capable of the same glaring hypocrisy. The moment we believe we are holy and righteous, the moment we believe we are better than others, that is the moment we are furthest from God and living in the same arrogance and self-deception.
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" (Dt19:18-19). 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 even permitted to execute anyone. Due to Jesus’ high public profile and popularity, they can’t get rid of Him secretly, because people will notice and it will be exposed. So, essentially, they need to find a way to convince the Roman authorities that Jesus represents a threat to Rome, so that they can avoid getting their holy hands dirty. They actually think that plotting and orchestrating all this is not sin, only actually carrying it out is. Oddly enough, I see many people today who have the same kind of reasoning. “If I can get someone else to do it, then I am innocent!” Yeah, not so much! This is the human viewpoint which sees the outward appearance rather than the heart (1Sa 16:7). So they go before Pilate and try to convince him that Jesus is a threat to the peace and the government of Rome itself (fake news!) so that they will execute Him. Ironically, the chief priest, Caiaphas, gave the true reason for the trial earlier when the Jewish leaders had gathered to conspire against Jesus:
Joh 11:49-50 "But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, (*that year) said to them, 'You know nothing at all, 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. 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. Caiaphas is one of these, a Sadducee, who does not share the Pharisees unique interpretations of Judaism. He was appointed to his position by the Romans, though it's possible that the Jewish people informally considered others, such as Annas (Act 4:6; Joh 18:13), to be their "real" spiritual leader. But that doesn’t esteem him any more worthy, it was Annas and Caiaphas who led the Jewish trials of Jesus (Joh 18:12–13, 28).
Scripture doesn't say much about Caiaphas’ personality. However, in this case, he's speaking to—and insulting—an entire council of supposedly educated men (Joh 11:47-49). In drama or literature, Caiaphas is often portrayed as arrogant, cruel, and spiteful. As the nominal leader of the group that deliberately perverts justice so that Jesus will be killed, he's subject to such criticism.
The irony of Caiaphas’ statement in Joh 11:50 is that he doesn’t yet understand the divine truth of it - that Jesus' death is, in fact, meant as an alternative to the death of sinners (2Cor 5:21; 1Pe 3:18). His single sacrifice prevents countless souls from being separated from God for eternity (Joh 11:52). God sent Jesus to die, not so that the Romans wouldn't destroy Jerusalem, rather,
He sent Jesus so that the sins of the world could be forgiven!
However, concerns about Rome crushing Israel will also be realized, but not for the assumed reasons. The sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70, including the destruction of the temple (Heb 8:13), will come as a result of Jewish leaders pushing their people to antagonize Rome.
Heb 8:8-12 contain a quotation from Jer 31:31-34, which 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 (Heb 8:5). Heb 8:1-2 tells us that even the tabernacle was intended as an earthly symbol, or a "pattern," of the real altar in heaven.
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. We in the Church Age follow the PPOG, the Predesigned Plan of God, and we look backward to the cross. But in the OT, they lived under the Ritual Plan of God, they looked forward to the cross. Since the first Advent and the Hypostatic Union had not yet happened, it wasn’t a matter of historical records and scriptural accounts, they learned about Him through the symbolic rituals and sacramental objects, which all pointed to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Yet as time progressed and legalism replaced faith, this understanding was abandoned and lost.
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.
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 (Heb 5:9; 9:12). This prediction of a replacement for the Levitical priesthood is not rare or unique in the Jewish Scriptures (Ps 110:4; Eze 36:26–27). At the time the book of Hebrews was written, the temple was still being used for ritual sacrifice. Heb 8:13 however, indicates that the now-obsolete old covenant is "ready to vanish away." Wouldn’t you know it, not long after these words were written, the Jewish temple was obliterated by the Romans. As predicted here and elsewhere (Hos 3:4; Lk 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:
- David prophesied that Jesus would commit His spirit to God.
Prophesied: PSA 31:5
Fulfilled: LUK 23:46
Ps 31:5 “Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.”
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 Lk 23:46
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.
Stephen, the first martyr of the church also had the idea of this text in mind with his final words in Acts 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. 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!" (Lk 23:46). 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 (Mat 10:28).
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.
We have the fulfillment in Luke 23:26:
Lk 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. In Joh 10:17-18 we read that Jesus boldly declared before He was crucified that no one had the power to take His life from Him, but He gave it willingly by His own power.
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).
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. There are several places where Jesus uses what is known as the tetragramaton, or JHVH – I AM WHO I AM, which is the name Jesus Christ gives to Moses when he asks whom he should tell the Israelites has sent him. We call them “the great ‘I AM’s.” 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). Jesus uses this title deliberately in answer to the scribes and Pharisees because He knows they will recognize it as a direct statement of His divinity. This of course infuriates them since they see empirically, not spiritually, and only see a mortal man before them. They have already rejected Him as Messiah. Here, in Gethsemane, He uses it again as a statement of His divinity.
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!