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Holy Week 2014 Psalms 17 and 22

It is the holiest of weeks.

As we travel the trail of tears,

may we know afresh how deeply we are loved.


     I am facilitating a seekers’ study this year, studying John, seeing how different Christianity is from world religions. Last week I had a a few couples over, one who is so earnestly and authentically seeking, and we talked of the difference between religion and the gospel. One dear man said, “This is so different from what I have been taught in church all my life.” I could see his tenderness, his hope it might be true, but his confusion. I was so moved.

    Leaning across the kitchen counter between us, I covered his grasped hands with mine and was silent for a moment. His eyes grew wet with tears. I told him: “I understand your confusion. I had wrong teaching too. It’s everywhere. But this is what the Bible teaches. This is the heart. This is the Gospel. And I can see that God is wooing you.”

    He said, “You have been telling my wife God is wooing her.”

    I smiled. I had been telling her that! I said, “He is wooing her. And now I see Him wooing you too.”

    He wept again. I saw it in his eyes: Could it be true?

    Last week I got a text from His wife on the way to Nebraska. She wrote.     I got it! I was in my car, just south of Egg Harbor when I realized: “I don’t have to do anything. He did it.”      It is such amazing news — it seems impossible to be true. andcanitbe Christianity is such good news, we have trouble believing it. We have trouble believing the gospel before we enter, and then it keeps slipping out of our hands, and we think we have to earn His favor. But we don’t. It has been done. He is real, and He loves us. Every day I sense His reality in different ways. On this blog — in your hearts! I wondered where we would end up on Holy Week in the psalms, if it would work — but I somehow knew it would — for this is how our God is. Psalm 17 is of a man who is accused unjustly, and this in Christendom has often been paralleled with Christ before Pilate, so unjustly accused, yet so trusting in a God who would deliver his soul from the wicked, who would raise Him from the dead so that He would behold God’s face and be satisfied. This psalm also is of David, when he was unjustly accused by Saul, and David found strength in remembering God’s how God miraculously delivered the Israelites when it seemed there was no way out, for their enemies surrounded them. Only God can part a sea, only God can raise the dead, only God can save a soul. We cannot do it — BUT HE HAS DONE IT. This week we have marvelous songs to stir your heart each day, and one of Keller’s best sermons on video, plus a wonderful sermon from him on Psalm 22 — the crown jewel of the Messianic psalms. How I pray His presence will permeate your soul this week. Because it is holy week, I know some of you spend a good deal of the time Jesus was on the cross (9 to 3) with Him — so I’m giving you more — but just do what you can. Whatever you do and share blesses all of us. We are joining with believers of every tribe and nation, traveling together the trail of tears, exalting together in the amazing good news.

I love the song And Can It Be and this particular video of it. Dick Lucas said, “I think more truth may have been passed down through the centuries through the hymns of Charles Wesley than the sermons of John Wesley.” Such lyrics and music! Oh. In this video the WHOLE CHURCH is turned into a choir, singing it with all their hearts. As Psalm 22 tells us: “God inhabits the praise of His people.” How I see it in this video.

Psalm Sunday Icebreaker

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. The scales fall from our eyes in different ways. Some have a dramatic moment and can name the time. Others, it is more like traveling from Nebraska to Colorado — you don’t know when you passed the border, but you eventually realize, “I’m not in Nebraska anymore — this is different territory.” What was it like for you?

My friend who came to understand the gospel this week as she was driving told me before her realization, “I think it will be gradual for me.” I told her it might be, or God might come to her suddenly. How like God to do it that very week, surprising her “just south of Egg Harbor.” I love it that she can name the time and place — though I know it isn’t always that way.


God’s quickening ray fell on her and her heart was free. It reminds me of the fourth verse in And Can It Be:

St Peter Freed from Prison, by Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666).jpg
St Peter Freed from Prison, by Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666).jpg

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray— I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Monday: Song and Psalm 17

This psalm is of a man surrounded by enemies, as David was, as Jesus was. David knew he was innocent of the particular charges, and we know Jesus was completely innocent. There are going to be times when we are unjustly accused as well. How do we not cave under unjust accusation? We know God is before us, behind us, underneath us.

On a personal note, I do think it is important to see when we are unjustly attacked that the enemy is behind it, trying to discourage and devour us, but we must remember God is for us. A week ago, when I was in the midst of so much ministry, I received a very long and angry phone call from a man who had been told that I said something that I simply didn’t say. I was shaken at first, but when I realized it was the enemy, the father of lies, I knew the Lord would be my defender — and He has been. He is hiding me, as Psalm 17 says, in the shadow of his wings.


3. Read Psalm 17 and write down the truths about God that sustained them.

One night when I was traveling I watched Larry King interview Johnny Depp. He said, “Johnny — what do you trust in?” Depp paused, and then said, “I trust in my children.”

4. Contrast the man of the world with the man of God in verses 14-15. Meditate and share your thoughts.



Prepare your heart with this song.

 5. Memories of God’s great deliverance for the Israelites during the Exodus often sustained David and God’s people. There are reflections of that in Psalm 17. See if you can find some.

Watch Keller’s video called “Getting Out” and share your comments.


Wednesday and Thursday: Psalm 22

Prepare your heart with this song:


Now watch this video:


No incident in the life of David can account for many parts of this psalm — it is clear prophecy of our Lord’s crucifixion.

Psalm 22 a

7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?

8. What does verse 3 teach you? Please spend time in worshipful song, either singing or listening, asking Him to inhabit your heart as you do. If you have a song that moves you, please share it here.

9. What sustains the suffering servant according to verses 4 and 5? When did God deliver someone from your past that can serve as an encouragement to you?

10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?

11. How do you see Christ in verses 9-10, and the hope that sustains him? What words of Christ’s on the cross bring this scene to mind?

12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?

13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?

14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?

15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?

16. What are His prayers in 19-21?

17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.

18. Spend time in thankful for what He did and accomplished.

Good Friday: Keller sermon

Spend time with Him during the hours He was on the cross — 9 to 3 — the same time that the Passover Lambs were sacrificed.

Praise to the Lamb who was slain

Redeemer has a new website — this link will take you there I hope — otherwise copy and paste please. The sermon is not free, but if you can listen, it is good! Click here to listen.

19. Share your comments on the sermon.


20. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. Susan,  your descriptions on 12 and 13 are so vivid and helpful to me.

  2. 19.  Comments on Keller’s sermon.  The doctrine of salvation.
    Listened once last night — didn’t take notes.  Listened again this morning and I did take notes.  Very clear and logical AND I was crying through much of it.  During the last few weeks, I was thinking that Mike Reeves and Hugh Palmer gave Keller some pretty stiff competition 🙂  and sort of wondering if Reeves’ and Palmer’s preaching went straight to my heart, whereas Keller’s went through my brain first.   Taking notes forced me to listen more closely and this sermon went straight to my heart.  SO MUCH of what I heard “clicked” in a way that it hadn’t before, both regarding Jesus and about application to my life.
    Keller’s sermon was easy to outline with main and subheadings, but I’ll post SOME of my comments instead 😉    As with the intro to this study, everything stood out and I have so much to contemplate, and I know this will impact me forever (as has the process of each scale falling off)

    I’ve heard talks and sermons on Jesus’ physical suffering — including very specific medical descriptions about what he would have experienced during the crucifixion.  I’m wondering if I’ve over-equated Jesus’ suffering with the physical suffering.  Jesus’ experience of separation from God was far worse than his physical suffering.  Jesus suffered tremendous physical pain without saying a word.  But he cried out because of spiritual/emotional pain of being separated from God.  I’ve always thought of the spiritual/emotional pain being due to the weight of the world’s sins — and that sin did cause his separation from God.  His pain was due to his separation from his God, his Father, with whom he had been intimately connected to for all eternity.   This breaks my heart.  He suffered the incomprehensible.  His willingness to be separated from and trust his God demonstrates how much he loves me.  Not only does he woo me (which is pretty amazing), he went to the cross for me — and that was far greater than physical suffering.

    To contemplate further: 
    –  COSTLY GRACE.  Jesus was absolutely loving and holy at the same time.  How will this change me?  I’ve often wrestled with how to have high (or at least minimum) standards AND show grace with students and employees.  
    –  Want to better “know him in his sufferings”   — and the way Keller described Jesus’ abandonment helps that.
    Other good stuff:
    — Quote from Luther:  “This psalm helped me out of difficulties from which no king or rule could ever have freed me.”
    —  Keller “Jesus Christ was truly deserted by God so that you are only ever apparently deserted by God…. He got the abandonment we deserve…So when you are only apparently deserted, you can hang on.”
    —  This sermon tapped into and strengthened what I have experienced about Jesus being the greatest companion in suffering and suffering having a redemption — and though I have seen some redemption, I still wonder WHEN.

    It’s as if this sermon makes sense of my life….overwhelming.

    1. Takeway:
      Just as everything stood out in the intro, I am taking away so much!  How can I skip any part?
      What I am taking away is encapsulated in part of Psalm 22:31 “he has done it.”   He was abandoned so that I NEVER will be abandoned.

      1. Renee…I have been reading your posts..oh my how beautiful you are becoming–His radiance! I so wish I could have hooked up with you when you were here.. I have been so swamped but things are calming down. Let me know when you are in town again! love to you sis.

    2. Renee…..I don’t know when I’ll get to listen to this sermon…..but I like what I’m reading.  (no surprise there)   Like your ‘to contemplate further’ and ‘other good stuff’ sections…..especially Keller’s quote about abandonment.  Wow.

      Oh….this comment was supposed to follow the sermon notes…:)

      1. Wanda, your comment does follow the sermon notes.  I accidentally posted my takeaway under the sermon comments 😉

  3. Deleted double post!

    I am thanking God that a day is coming when everything that is wrong will be made right and everything that is broken (me!) will be made whole.

    1. Renee….I love both of your above comments.  Amen and Amen!

    2. 17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.   
      Though the Father turned his face away while Jesus was on the cross, the story did not end there.  Vs. 24   “For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one,  he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”  (vs 24)   Jesus was delivered!  Delivered from death…..Risen again….Delivered so that we could be delivered and given life eternal!  
        vs. 28   There has always been evil, chaos, unrest, conflict and all the terrible effects of sin.  In every nation.  In every generation.  But the Lord is Sovereign.  Always.


  4. Just thinking and reviewing:  Love the Song of Moses from Tuesday and the Power of the Cross from Wed/Thurs.   I found it interesting that because the Psalms didn’t have the convenience of chapters and verses, people (Jesus) referred to a psalm by quoting the first lines.

    Also thinking about Show Me Christ again.

  5. 11. How do you see Christ in verses 9-10, and the hope that sustains him? What words of Christ’s on the cross bring this scene to mind
    The verses reflect his humanity and his Incarnation.  He who was from eternity, who in his divinity, shared the glory he had from the beginning when he was alone with the Father before the world began. (John 17:5) now in his humanity and frailness, trusts in his heavenly Father again.    He declares that he trusted while in Mary’s womb….while as a nursing babe, as the most vulnerable of humans.  Before his earthly life.  At the beginning of his earthly life.   At the end of his earthly life.  He trusts his Father.  “Father into Thy hands, I commend my spirit.”

    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
    I think Susan had such good answers for this section, that I went back to read them again.  The comparison of bulls and lions surrounding him (like on the Psalm 22 video portrays) with the strong, gruff, aggressive men is really a vivid picture.  Here’s Susan’s description.
    It is a scene of being weakened and surrounded by strong animals – bulls and roaring lions – closing  in for the kill and being helpless to do anything about it. From the time of His arrest, Jesus was brutally manhandled by strong, rested soldiers. They encircled Him and beat, slapped, punched Him.   13. What words from the Cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
     There’s no way we can identify completely with what Jesus went through and it can at times be too much to try.  I think sometimes, we (wrongly) set some of the pain aside because he was God and could handle things we couldn’t.  But on Good Friday, he was also fully man.  It’s hard to fathom.    I am touched again by how Susan contemplated the real feelings Jesus had at this time.  These are her words: “My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me”. I don’t think there was any such thing as facing the crucifixion with a “strong heart” and courage. To feel such overwhelming fear, aloneness, and pain would make one’s heart fail within him.

  7. Contemplate  “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
    All sin was laid upon our Savior and God ,who is holy, had to separate from this burden of sin.
    Today I read The Divine Romance by Gene Edwards. The description of this time was so vivid as the angels version
    was described.  “Bringing together into one place this vile, pulsating, living thing called sin, they cast it all into the Lamb of God-who now became sin incarnate.”  The story is so real and so sad I was deeply moved. Yes, to think he died for me.
    Verses 4 & 5 What sustained the suffering servant?
    He knows that God is always with us. He was separated from him, but not deserted by him.
    In verses 5-8 I see Christ as the Lamb, quietly tolerating those who mocked him. The hope that sustained him; You have been my God from the moment I was born and protected from all dangers.
    The scene in verses 12-13 is the angry mob, the Pharisees shouting accusations and the crowd yelling, crucify him!
    The intense bodily suffering  is told in verses 14-15. It brings to mind his words. “I thirst.” “All my bones are out of joint.”
    Yes, his gaunt body was dehydrated and to add more insult to injury, the soldiers cruelly threw dice for his clothes.
    His prayers were O Lord, do not stay far away; You are my strength, come quickly to my aid.
    The promises I am thankful for are He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy, but has listened to their cries for help. All who seek the Lord will praise him, their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy!
    a song I love also is How Deep the Father’s Love for Us. I also listened to You are Holy (Prince of Peace) by Michael W. Smith
    This study is so meaningful. Thanks again, Dee, and each of you for sharing.

  8. 13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
    “I thirst”.     (vs. 15)  Verse 14 relates to the soldier piercing his side after he had died which brought forth a flow of blood and water.
    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
    I think the position he was in, having hung on the cross for hours, gravity pulling down on him, his skin was taut…he was dehydrated, gaunt, body stressed to the extreme and naked.  Likely, he could see all of his ribs. So many times, his ribs are clearly seen in paintings of the crucifixion.  I didn’t realize or remember that there was a scripture that stated it.   
    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?   Gambling for his garments …. making a game of it.  After all he had endured, not a shred of dignity was shown.
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?  Prayers for deliverance.  Deliverance of his precious life.  From the sword, from wild animals.  Come quickly.  You are not far off.

  9. 12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13? The first emotions I think of are fear and defeat. But I think that it may not have been possible for Christ to fear? or to feel defeat? Because He had to have known better than anyone that God would come through. Though this is NOT to say that Christ did not feel pain and abandonment and severe suffering. I just don’t know if fear would have been a part of it? “Fear is the opposite of love”? and “To fear is to not trust”?

    I cannot think of a good emotion that would describe how Christ felt. To look at the bulls and lions surrounding Him, knowing He would be separated from God and endure a broken body and heart and an apparent victory for the evil one and yet know that on the other side would be the ultimate victory for us…. Does suffering, even severe suffering look different when you know the reason? Of course, it is still excruciating but would the experience be different? Just thinking “out loud.” 

    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?  I thought of the prophesy about no broken bones first, as well.  Then my thoughts turned to his humiliation in being naked and spent. I also wondered about the possibility of being able to visually see a bone through his ripped flesh? Though you would not be able to count them in that instance. 

    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18? How does this show the utmost cruelty? The soldiers gambling for his garments – it shows no respect for His life nor Him as a person. They didn’t even wait till He was passed to “divy up the loot.” Makes me ill. =( To be so close to the one who loves you most and yet disregard Him… 

    16. What are His prayers in 19-21? His prayers are petitioning God for help and rescue – that God would deliver Him from being ravaged by the sword, dogs, oxen. 

    17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful. Our hearts will live forever! All who go down to dust will kneel before Him – those who cannot keep themselves alive. “…for he has done it.” Amen and hallelujah! =D

  10. I have not gotten a chance to hear the second sermon from Keller but read the comments posted by others who have done so. Keller sure has a way of speaking to my brain (just like Renee said). Personally, I needed that because my emotions often get in the way of truth. As God engages my mind, my heart seems better equipped to “feel” what my head has comprehended. Oh what love! Despite of…in spite of me!
    Thank you, my Lord and Savior! No cost was too high for you because of your great love for me…for us! Praises to you! For HE HAS DONE IT! Psalm 22:31b
    And because you rose, I will rise again someday. O glory! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8c69FHUZzY I will rise by Chris Tomlin
    I will rise when He calls my name…Worthy is the Lamb!

  11. Love the song, “The power of the Cross”. What a fitting song at this time of the year.
    Dee, thank you so much for being obedient to God and hosting this blog. I have been so blessed by the way you have stepped aside as a friend and continually pointed me towards our Bridegroom. I have heard His voice!

  12. Keller’s notes:  THIS WAS THE SERMON OF ALL SERMONS INDEED!!! Okay so this is at the top of my list now-but that top is getting very clogged up..I don’t know which to put as my #1 now. 🙂
    -When Jesus cried out “My God My God why has Thou forsaken me”..it was a scream and he was experiencing something worse than physical pain- he was experiencing separation from God. He didn’t scream when being nailed to the cross or having the thorny crown hammered into his head, he was like a lamb, silent before his sheerers.  This severing was worse than when we lose a loved one for Jesus and God’s soul were one-wrapped in each other’s souls eternally. When Jesus lost the Father’s presence at that instant Jesus was engulfed in freezing eternal darkness-hell. His soul unraveled infinitely- he experienced infinite suffering…. The cross is the tree of life for everyone because it was the tree of death for him.
    -How Jesus’ cry affects:
    Personal transformation: 
    Because he is loving there is free Grace for us but because he is Holy it was infinitely costly grace. When I know Jesus went to Hell’s heart for me and was loving and obedient for me. That is what changes me, that is tears that is amazement, that is what changes me. It humbles me out of my pride and affirms me out of my inferiorly and self pity at the same time. It makes me hate my sins because it led to his death. But it forbids me to hate myself because he did it for me to make me free. There is nothing that changes you than knowing He is holy and loving at once.
    -Experience of suffering:
    Understanding the cry of Jesus on the cross gives us an understanding of suffering.  The first is the cry of Jesus on the cross gives us the greatest possible companion for our suffering. The thing you need in suffering is not answers but companionship. You can’t make it without friendship, companionship. Christianity is the only religion on the face of the earth that says God is your companion in suffering
    The greatest possible future in suffering:  When Jesus cried out in the midst of his darkness there was a deliverance. The suffering of Jesus means our suffering has a future. Suffering isn’t blind and senseless, it has a purpose. Character is formed by it, art and creativity is stimulated by it, royalty comes from it. In the end 2 cor. 4:17..this affliction for a moment is preparing for us an eternal glory beyond comparison. When you are in the midst of pain you say, it is too much to bear, but whatever you lose shows up again somewhere else and it is redemptive. Jesus suffering has a future-redemption..Our suffering has a future-things will flow from it.
    -The feeling God sometimes abandons us: 
    JESUS WAS DESERTED REALLY SO THAT I WOULD ONLY BE DESERTED APPARENTLY.  :)))))))))) Luther was a melancholic. He had trouble holding on to radiant feelings, positive emotions, feeling God’s presence. Very often we feel he abandons us. God’s timing is never our timing. Jesus Christ was truly deserted by God so that I am only apparently deserted by God. He got the abandonment we deserve so we won’t truly abandoned at all. We may feel abandoned but we aren’t really abandoned. Jesus was truly deserted so that we would only be apparently deserted but not really deserted.

    1. Thanks for the sermon notes, Rebecca. I was encouraged just by reading the notes, and I now have the sermon downloaded to listen to as soon as I have the time. Love your enthusiasm! Best sermon ever!! (again…) 🙂

    2. Amen to your sermon assessment, Rebecca 😀

    3. Thanks for the notes, Rebecca.  I haven’t had a chance to hear the sermon….but what I’ve read from you and Renee has been so rich.  I’ll be taking that profound thought about real and apparent desertion with me…..and hope to hear the sermon soon.

    4. I SO appreciate your excellent notes Rebecca, they have blessed me today!

  13. 17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.
    Verse 24, “For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” It appeared that Jesus was the loser on the day He died on the Cross. The onlookers who taunted Him saying “Let God save Him…He said He was the Son of God…” must have thought this surely proves that Jesus was not who He said He was. But something unseen was happening as Jesus suffered and died. God did not disdain the suffering of His Son nor was He unaware of His cries…our salvation was being accomplished.
    Verse 31, “They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn for He has done it.” That phrase “for He has done it” is loaded, packed with meaning. He has done everything to provide for our salvation. I can’t take credit for anything good in my life-it is all from Him. If there is any hope, any victory over sin, it is because He has done it. This is God’s solid reputation and I can trust that anything that arises in the future I can go to Him for help.
    18. Spend time in thankful for what He did and accomplished.
    Lord Jesus, I am feeling overwhelmed right now. I am carrying burdens You never meant for me to carry. In some areas I feel so helpless to ever change, to ever have victory over habits and mindsets and patterns of relating that are so deeply set in me. Jesus, you took upon yourself all my sin and failures, feeling their weight, the shame, the guilt, the burden. Not just mine, but the weight of all sin-You went down, buried under it all and feeling the full force of God’s righteous anger against it. His anger at my sin was unleashed on You, Jesus. You experienced my hell. Oh Jesus, help me to see it, to not take it lightly, to not forget what it cost you. Thank You for loving me enough to die for me and promising to never leave nor forsake me.

  14. 9. What sustains the suffering servant according to verses 4 and 5? When did God deliver someone from your past that can serve as an encouragement to you? 
    Trust in God. 
    This isn’t really from my past, but about 6 years ago a friends daughter graduated from high school and claimed she was gay. It broke my friends heart, as she is a Christian and raised her children in a Christian home. They went to  Christian school as well. She always prayed, never gave up on her, and even allowed her to continue to live in her home although she knew what her behavior was. I didn’t understand how she could allow her to be in her home at the time; I felt she should take a stand and wasn’t. This year, her daughter renounced her behavior, has a good job, and is living on her own, paying her own bills. I am amazed. God can do anything!

  15. 10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
    I don’t understand why he calls himself a worm. Worms are squiggly, wet, fat, gross, dirty, regenerative, disgusting creatures. Is that the point here? He is vile and no one would want him? Yet, God saves him and loves him anyway. I suppose we are the vile ones? We are the real ones who need saving and God wants us to see there is hope for us too?
    11. How do you see Christ in verses 9-10, and the hope that sustains him? What words of Christ’s on the cross bring this scene to mind?
    Totally loyal and trusting in his Father. The words on the cross (?) that reveal this are “…not my will, but yours…” But then, I thought that was in the garden at Gethsemene? Maybe when he says to his mother and John that they are now related? He does say to the other prisoner that there will be a place for him in paradise also. That shows complete faith. 

    1. Laura-d,  I agree — the worm thing bugged me, too.  But at least after reading that, the “worms” in hymns don’t bother me.

  16. 12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
    A group of angry, fighting people who want to do harm surround him in these verses. A mob.
    13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
    On the cross Jesus declares he is thirsty.
    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
    my version (NIV) says all his “…bones are on display.” He was stripped named for all to see.
    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?
    The soldiers are gambling for his clothes. A picture of nasty greed. It could mean they know the clothes might be “meaningful” if it really was determined later that he was a king. It could also mean they are mocking impling that they wouldn’t want to be the “winner,” and no one would want his clothes; a joke.

    1. That’s a good point on #15, Laura.   I’ve never thought of it that way…..that it could go either way.  And both depict the utmost cruelty..

  17. 16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
    He asks for God to come quickly and be his strength; to rescue him.
    17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.
    He declares we will eat and be satisfied. He declares if we believe our hearts will live forever. Thank you Jesus!

  18. My hodge-podge-y take away thoughts this week:
    A few days ago, on the radio I heard the familiar phrase “your life is in His hands” and this time it stopped me, I felt emotions well. In meditating on the Cross this week especially, the phrase “In His hands” brought to mind, His nail-pierced, blood-ridden, on the Cross for me, hands. To remember my life is in those hands–the ones on the Cross, how can I ever doubt, fear or worry? Oh I felt convicted of my lack of faith in those hands.
    But the last few days something else has struck me. I know it is good and right to focus on all He has done, on all I have been set free from, but I thought how often my tendency is to stop there. To stop in the peace of knowing my life is in His hands. There is great peace in that, and it came at the greatest cost, but I can’t stop there. I have not only been FREED FROM the bondage of sin, but I am FREED TO reflect Him, to somehow live out His love. My actions so so often do not reflect anything close to His ways or His love. I am controlling, fearful and very self-protective. None of that shows a life that has been set free to love.
    I don’t think I can put the right words to my thoughts yet, but I anew am struck by the meaning of my life being a living sacrifice.I long to really lay down self, trust my life is not just “in His hands”, but in THOSE hands, the pierced hands of the Cross, and He is transforming my heart to reflect Him. Lord, please forgive me for shoving myself in the way of Your beauty. Cleanse me, break me, re-make my heart to better reflect You to others, in my thoughts, words, actions.

    1. Elizabeth — LIKE hodge-podge-y because I track well with it!The last part of your post reminds me of what I have been pondering this week, then affirmed through hymn at church last night.  Last verse of “At the Cross” (Alas, and did my Savior Bleed)

      But drops of grief can ne’er repayThe debt of love I owe:Here, Lord, I give myself away,’Tis all that I can do.

      1. oh RENEE–how you just spoke exactly what my heart is feeling, and made it so much clearer than I could! Yes, that hymn verse is it–PERFECT. thank you–for listening/reading and bringing depth, so love having you here

  19. Laura-dancer and Diane–you both commented on not being “able to contribute anything substantial”–and I have to jump in here and confront those thoughts from the enemy! BOTH of you bring so much more wisdom than you know. Laura–just your presence here encourages me, knowing what all you have been through even in these last several months–and then to see you still clinging to Him, still in the Word, listening to praise–wow. And Diane, your trials have been long and wearisome but you too remain faithful. I am praying for both of you right now, that you may feel His love over power those thoughts and know how much we all love having you here!

    1. YES, what Elizabeth said!!

    2. Thanks Elizabeth and Renee 🙂 you are such encouragers! I think some of my “blah” is from the cold weather as well. It was a beautiful day today. I need my bones to be warm……hmmmm there has been talk of bones this week now that I think of it. I’ve been thinking of bones too; I usually do this time of year because I need to get deeply warm. I’m ready to head down to the beach in NJ and lay prostrate on the sand (no towel!) and soak up all the rays I can to get them that way. It’s so nice. We will be there next weekend so I hope it is nice weather. Happy Easter!

    3. You guys are sweet. I get far more out of following this study and learning from Dee and all of you than I could possibly express. Thanks for the encouragement.  

  20. Take-aways:   I am pondering take-aways, not just from this week, but from all of Lent.   It is a little disappointing to think that Lent is virtually over!    I have always thought that the New Testament built onto the message of the Old Testament, but now I have learned that all of the Bible is connected in so many directions.    I have loved learning the connections between Exodus, Psalms, and the gospels, for example!    It renews for me that idea that God inspired all of the Scripture — how else would there  have been such clear references in David’s writings concerning the crucifixion?   That gives me a lot of comfort!    
    I’m afraid I am still reading Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship — didn’t quite get that completed.   However, my thinking has definitely been impacted by what I have read  (I’m a little better than 2/3 through it).    It gave me the courage to speak up in church board meeting this week and admonish my fellow board members that we need to “turn our cheeks” and not fight back with the charter school that is now our church’s landlord, even if the school is treating us in a despicable manner.    We need instead to pray for our “enemies.”    This is a teaching of Jesus that Bonhoeffer emphasizes in this book.   
    Others on the blog have mentioned how, in their daily lives,  they have come across Scriptures and songs used on this blog    I too  have experienced this phenomenon.     In our Bible Study at church on Tuesday nights we were reading in Acts 2, and came across that passage in Peter’s Pentecost sermon where he quoted Psalm 16.  I thought to myself — there it is again!!    As I attended Maundy Thursday service and Good Friday prayer vigil,  I found myself far more open to the “last words of Christ” and this openness, I’m sure, comes  from all I have learned and experienced on this Bible Study blog.     
    Thank you, Dee, for all you have poured into this Lenten study!    You just have to be very tired   I wish you and all of the ladies on this blog a “Very Blessed Easter!”     I so appreciate and love you all.

    1. and Yes, What Deanna wrote, too!  Thank you, Dee!  This was a POWERFUL study.  Love and a blessed Easter to each of you.  Can’t take time to scroll up higher on page right now (I read backwards sometimes 😉   ), but may be able to get on with cell phone.

  21. My take-away is like Deanna’s.  I’m thinking of all of Lent.  Yesterday, I told someone that I had had the richest Lenten season…..maybe ever.  When I joined you wonderful women at the start of Lent, I said I’d had a ‘hole in my heart’ for over 30 years because the church that we attend, like so many Evangelical churches, doesn’t acknowledge Lent   I was raised with Lenten worship on Wednesday evenings which focused on the Passion of Christ.  On my own, I’ve tried to be somewhat consistent in disciplining myself to read and contemplate the Passion and I tried to incorporate some things into our family life when my kids were young.  But it was never the same as having a corporate experience and THIS year really, really filled that hole in my heart.  I’m getting teary as I write this because I am so very grateful to have been welcomed into this group where I have felt so much love as well as have been so challenged.  I’ve done some intense studies before, but I  don’t think I’ve spent this much time daily on Bible study/listening/note gathering/praying/meditating  since I was a Bible school student 🙂 post high school.  (a very long time ago!). I could reiterate so many things that have blessed me from the Holy Week study…..but I just need to say thank you to each of you for this refreshing place to come each day.  And huge thanks to Dee for the love and dedication you give to this blog.   It is such a place of growth and encouragement.   Blessings abundant to all of you!

  22. Diane, I reached the end of the replies above. I just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement, and although I don’t want anyone to necessarily be in my shoes, it’s good to know I am not the only one who occasionally slips. I don’t think the devil is in charge here, I think it’s just a reflection time for myself. I hope it’s that way for you as well. I have drawn closer to God with music this Lenten season. Some songs just make me boo-hoo! I will pray that we soon come out of our “funk.”


  24. Laura-d, I can’t find it now, but your prayer just now to Stephanie brought tears, honestly. I know you are weary and worn but OH if you could see how the Lord is molding you, the beauty He is bringing from your heavy trials–your prayer just now was such evidence of the heart of compassion He is deepening in you. It gave me goose bumps thinking of how He will use you in the lives of others through all of this…so forget about not having anything significant to share! 😉

  25. I wish I had more time to respond to all. Such lovely thoughts from ALL of you! Him working in each of you helps to light my own path. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing  your thoughts. 
    First just the beauty of Psalm 22 in its prophetic story being fulfilled in Christ. So many of the Psalms have been brought to life for me through this study but this one….oh, the beauty outshines the others because it tells the part of the story that we long for in every story and depicts my savior….I am not very clear but I am struck by the beauty of the gospel anew, Him being the hero and burdening my suffering instead of me. 
    Second -I wondered if today was harder for Christ than yesterday? Didn’t he descend to fight death? Wouldn’t a whole day till his rising again just have been torture for Him? It rained all day yesterday and today and I thought it fitting that the earth would mourn with me on this anniversary of His suffering. But there is hope, too, anticipation of joy in the morning!
    Last  -a song lyric from the song below, the whole thing speaks to me on this Easter eve but especially this: “If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking”  why do I keep trying to fight it and swim on my own? 
    Oh, how He loves us. 

  26. Have a wonderful Easter today my sweet blog sisters! I will be thinking about you: “I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:3-6

    May this encourage and comfort you today: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”-1 Thess 4