Today's Bible Readings
     II Samuel 15
     II Corinthians 8
     Ezekiel 22
     Psalms 69
      ''They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalms 69:21)
      The accurate fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies is one of the most amazing facts in all of history. There were more than 100 specific prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of our Lord, and all of them have been meticulously fulfilled. Psalms 22 and 69 are quoted by the writers of the New Testament more than any other segment of Scripture. They give us vivid details of the crucifixion of Christ hundreds of years before crucifixion was devised by the Romans as a means of execution.
      Throughout this passage, we see other specific details of His life and crucifixion that were completely fulfilled. The information He gives us in our memory verse must have been difficult for Old Testament readers to understand and believe, yet it happened just as the Messiah said it would.
      Jesus' death was as a volunteer, not as a victim.
It was voluntary as to the motive. The Cross never took Jesus by surprise. He knew He had been born to die. 
It was voluntary as to the method. Jesus could have called a legion of angels to rescue Him from the Cross. He could have chosen for Himself any other mode of death, but He was crucified because this was the method set forth by the Father. It was voluntary as to the moment. It was only when Jesus decided that it was finished that He bowed His head and gave up the ghost.
      Our Lord's death was vicarious.
      At one time, on the Cross, we see God's holiness, man's heinousness, and man's helplessness, when mortal man murdered his magnificent Maker.  The promised Messiah died in your place and mine. 
      The death of Christ was verified by the Old Testament Scriptures.
      ''For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1Corinthians 15:3)
      It was set forth in the law (Leviticus 17:11), in the Psalms (Psalms 22, 69), and in the prophets.
According to Francis Dixon, 25 distinct prophecies recorded in the Old Testament were fulfilled in a few hours of Christ's death, and they were fulfilled literally. How wonderfully this confirms our faith in the Word of God, and our trust in the purposes of God.
      Christ's death was also victorious.
      The symbols of Christianity are an empty cross and an empty grave … because He arose a victor over the power of death, the sting of death, and the fear of death.
      I am presenting the Cross to you today because this alone makes life worth living, even in the midst of suffering. The price He paid for you should cause you to shout a shout of victory, and determine now to live your life victoriously whether in the sufferings of the Cross or the power of His Resurrection.  May our lives shout that truth today and every day.
      Please continue to remember China in prayer today, and especially the Hunan Province. This is Chairman Mao's home province, and Maoism is still very strong. There has long been an anti-foreign spirit, which has slowed the penetration of the Gospel. Hunan is possibly China's spiritually hardest Han Chines population.  Pray for the removal of the spiritual barriers in this province. 
            Guilty, vile, and helpless we; Spotless Lamb of God was He. 
            Full atonement, can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!
      Philip Bliss