August 17

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 9
            Romans 7
            Jeremiah 46
            Psalm 22
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” (Psalms 22:1)
            Did you know that there are 109 prophecies in the Old Testament that were meticulously fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? This ought to encourage Christians that the 350 prophecies concerning the Second Advent of our Lord will be just as meticulously fulfilled in His Second Coming.
            None of these prophecies of the coming Messiah is more clearly set forth than His crucifixion in Psalm 22; in fact, you will not find in the New Testament a clearer and more precise presentation of the agony and passion of the Messiah of God than we find in Psalm 22. This was the Old Testament account of how mortal men murdered and mangled their magnificent Maker!
            This Psalm stands alone, and it is the very heart of the messianic Psalms. This vivid prophecy of the crucifixion was written a thousand years before the Romans adopted, from the Phoenicians, this inhuman method of executing their criminals. Compare the prophecies of this Psalm with the accounts of the crucifixion in the four Gospels (Matthew 7, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19), and stand amazed at the accuracy of this prophetic picture of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
            Jesus repeated the words of verse 1 from the cross. It was His hour, the hour that He would be made... “To be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (II Corinthians 5:21) This cry came from the agony of His Holy Soul. He abhors sin but loves the sinner so much. In order that we might be made righteous, He was willing to be that which He abhors. It is impossible for mere human beings to grasp the full significance of these exceedingly bitter words from the Cross. He was brutally disfigured “more than any man.” (Isaiah 52:14) Yet His physical sufferings cannot be compared with His spiritual agony when He took on our sin and thus became separated from His Father. The Cross is the only God­-forsaken place on this earth. We must realize, however, that Hell is the ultimate God-forsaken place; therefore, it is the Cross that keeps us from Hell and provides Heaven.
            We cannot understand how God the Father could forsake the God-Man, His Son. All we know is that it happened, and God the Son suffered the total penalty of the sins of mankind, crying out, ''My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me."
            Some of the incredible prophecies of this chapter have people mocking Him, revealing his bones out of joint, the Gentiles around the Cross, the piercing of His hands and feet, the dividing of His garments, the gambling for His garments, etc.
            The Psalmist is letting us know this is why He was coming. He was destined to die, and He was born to bleed. Because He was to be God-forsaken in our place, we are received into the beloved today, and are cleansed by the pure, perfect, and powerful blood from that Cross.
            There has been greater response among Jewish people to the Christian Gospel in recent years than since the first century. Consider, for example, the estimated 500,000 strong Jewish community in Argentina. Most of them are in Buenos Aires. This is the world's sixth largest Jewish community. They are highly secularized and prosperous. Chosen People Ministries and 10 other agencies have ministry to the Jews here. There are 5 Messianic assemblies in Buenos Aires. Pray for the Christian Gospel to impact this strong Jewish community in Argentina and throughout the world.