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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.

mount_calvary

     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.

eggharbor

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjazfFvqsig

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.

  WhenIawake

TUESDAY: SONG AND KELLER VIDEO

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.

6. Comments

Wednesday and Thursday: Psalm 22

Prepare your heart with this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BAPvqeFnjE#aid=P7JywtzUrBA

Now watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRNmtpkevRQ

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.

LAMB
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.

Saturday:

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

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287 comments

  1. Tim Keller’s “Getting Out” sermon: we cross over by grace, and we live in the land by grace! AMEN!! All is of Christ, for Christ and by Christ!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA5mMBtWKeg – ALL I HAVE I CHRIST
     

    1. Ellen Mary, You have SO whetted my appetite for Keller’s sermon!! I can’t wait to hear it. 

  2. 4. Contrast the man of the world with the man of God in verses 14-15. Meditate and share your thoughts.
    The man of the world finds his satisfaction in this world. The man of God finds his satisfaction in God. 
     
    My thoughts-I do get a sense overall from this passage that it goes deeper than the wicked chasing us with swords. I think perhaps it is more insidious than merely physical harm. Tempting us to sin-to join them in desiring what they desire-in acting like them in situations that arise..in being transformed into them instead of being transformed into Christ. So we are tempted every day-by t.v., by our co-workers, by our family members, by strangers, etc..to love the world more than God-and that the world loves us more than God. It is satan coming in in varying ways to tempt us to not hide in His wings-to not run to him. To tempt me via control, approval, comfort..This is SO easy in my life-and is actually happening at my work in the kitchen. It is so tempting to join them. I have stumbled indeed but He is helping me to ask this question to my soul when I stumble-Am I finding my satisfaction in them-am I taking their counsel? Am I finding refreshment from my approval idol and not hiding in his wings satisfied in His approval as these temptations happen? Then I speak the Psalms to my soul..and I find such pleasure when I repent, turn, and take refuge in Him for satan will come after I stumble and try to make me feel condemned. 
     
    This Question was a refreshing balm to my soul-an encouragement for constant relational issues at work between the women there. Working in school kitchens can be interesting for most are very dysfunctional relationally. 

    1. Rebecca, you packed so much insight and wisdom in your answer here. Yes, to really ponder what this means: “save me from men of this world whose reward is in this life.” It is insidious…”tempting us to sin-to join them in desiring what they desire-in acting like them in situations that arise…in being transformed into them instead of being transformed into Christ.” And this temptations comes at us from all sources – co-workers, family, TV…

  3. 6. Comments on Keller “Getting out.”
    Wow. The gospel never gets old. In fact, I think that it gets more beautiful as it sinks in a bit deeper each time. I also love when more parallels are shown between Christ and the Old Testament stories like Jonah and the Exodus. I had never pondered either of those in the specific way that keller presented. I especially love the fact that God brought His people out and THEN gave them the law. We can do nothing! In my religious days this brought a feeling a despair, panic (do more!), but in the gospel it brings freedom, and peace, and it does, as Keller pointed out, increase my desire to obey and know Him. 

  4. PRAYER REQUEST
    A  young woman in the church my husband pastors just called to tell us her father will not make it home from the hospital.
    He went in last week for minor surgery but when they went in they discovered cancer through out his body and only give him till tomorrow to live.We are leaving now to go to the hospital to be with her and her husband.
    Thank you for praying.
    Cindy

    1. Pausing to pray now, Cindy.  Grace and peace be with you all. 

    2. Oh, Cindy…my heart goes out to this poor young gal.  I will be praying for you all…thankful that you can be with her.

    3. Praying for peace for that family!

  5. 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.
    v. 7…”By Your mighty power You rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies”
    v. 9…”Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me.”
    v. 9, 11, 12…”Protect me from wicked people…they track me down and surround me…they are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart.”
    v. 13, 14…”…rescue me from the wicked…by the power of Your hand, O Lord, destroy those…”
    v. 14…”…children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants…”

  6. Tim’s Video Take-a-ways:
     
    I loved the Slave illustration.  we know, but we don’t know that we have been saved. God has freed us from things we are still enslaved to, but we have not worked it in.
     
    There is no condemnation for us because we are in Christ Jesus. God sees we are perfect in Christ’s righteousness.   
     
    Redemption has layers.
     
    How do we get out of bondage. Crossing over by grace. Stand still. God will do our fighting.
     
    We are not saved because of the quality of our faith but because of the OBJECT of our faith. It is Grace, Grace, Grace, Crossing over.  
     
    Nobody who understands the grace of God deals with sin lightly.
     
    We sin because of our idols.

    1. Natalie-As I just mentioned to Elizabeth-I really appreciate your notes for it helps me when I am unable to take them. Thanks so much!

  7. Keller’s sermon — excellent teaching.  I listened 5 times (when doing other stuff).  The 5th time I took some notes (and I already knew the parts I wanted to write down.)   The “layers” helped clarify my thinking, especially because I already was thinking in terms of layers.   Might post a little more after I get home from night class.   Keeping up with reading, but not responding comments, but not responding now. Comments are so rich, too.

    1. I have listened twice so far Renee! 

      1. 🙂     Laura-d,  How are you?  Have been praying for you.  Took me quite a while to get through grief and exhaustion after my mom died, so I think of you often.  House still hasn’t recovered!!  

        1. Hi Renee, I’m doing okay. I think my cancer medicine is giving me side effects though…..maybe in conjunction with mom dying(?). I am kind of “down” and sometimes am having a hard time “rallying.” I’m usually a very high energy person so this is weird for me. My doctor isn’t concerned though; says I will move through this stage and to hang in there. I am immersing myself in Chrisitian music on Pandora and that to really helps keep me focused. I am not as good with my bible study on the blog these days and don’t really seem to be able to contribute anything substantial. It has made me think I should just be a silent blogger for awhile. I read and answer the questions and I know God loves me. He is in control. 
           
          Thank you you for asking; it means a lot to me 🙂

        2. Laura-dancer, thanks for the update on how you are doing. I have a friend who is on a cancer med for breast cancer and it tires her out as well. That combined with your mom’s passing and I can well understand that you are TIRED. I just want to encourage you to comment on the blog as much as you can, but not to feel pressure. I, too, have been feeling like I don’t contribute anything substantial to this blog these days. I just can’t get thoughts clear enough to put down in typing. Not sure why. Keep reading and answering questions. I appreciate that you are here. So glad to know God is making his love known to you.

  8. my notes on Keller’s “getting out”
     
    The transfiguration (Luke 9) Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah about His departure, about His death, but the Greek word used is “Exodus”—meaning Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate, getting out, exodus. Jesus is the Greater Moses. The Red Sea crossing is a paradigm of the Christian faith.
     
    Salvation is about getting out—what, how, and why:
    What we get out of: Bondage with layers.  Redemption, in Greek means to loosen, release from bondage. The Israelites got out of bondage, but the slave master said, “we want you back.” Physically freed, but inside, in their heart, they are still slaves.
     
    Four layers to bondage:
    1.    Christian salvation means we’re freed from the law objectively. We were under  guilt & condemnation, but through Jesus we get out. No longer under Law, under Grace.
     
    2.    Christian salvation means we’re subjectively freed from the law. Deep down we all know we’re supposed to be perfect, we are in bondage to works righteousness. We have regret that we haven’t lived the way we should—our natural default is to stay in bondage.
     
    3.    Christian salvation means we’re freed from bondage to our sin nature.  Shedd: “Sin is the suicidal action of the human will against itself.” When we sin, it is harder to resist it the next time. We default to bondage to our sin nature.
     
    4.    Christian salvation means we’re no longer in bondage to our idols. If I love anything more than God, it will continually say, “serve me or die.” If I am paralyzed with fear at the thought of losing it, it is my idol. “every so often we look down and see our heart is not free”
     
    How we get out of it: Crossing over by grace. Moses says, “do not be afraid, stand firm, and you will see the deliverance of the LORD.”  Stand still, God will fight for you. Watch. Stand still. The Israelites were under of sentence of death, but the minute they crossed, they crossed over from death to life. In Christianity—one minute you’re not adopted and then you are. You either are a Christian or you’re not a Christian. *We are saved not because of the quality of our faith, but the Object of our faith.
     
    Why we can get out of it: The Mediator. The Egyptians went through the water and were killed the Israelites. Why did the Israelites were fine. Why? The water represented chaos. God’s Spirit comes across and He brings order. When He uses the flood, He is reversing creation, unleashing chaos, justifiable judgment. The plagues came on Egypt, de-creation, unleashing of chaos. If God’s judgment is on both, why were the Israelites saved? They had a mediator, Moses-identified with them and rebuked for their sin. But our Mediator is better. Jesus Jesus is the ultimate mediator and it’s the reason we can cross over.
     
    The children of Israel are going to Sinai. God didn’t give them the law and when they started to obey, then He brought them out. He brought them out first and then gave them the Law. The more I see what He has done, the more holy I will be. I cannot take sin lightly. Work in the free grace of God into my heart and the more I get it, the more it will CHANGE me! Why do I sin? Because it’s the easiest way? Idols? Fear? Let His grace, His love, free me.

  9. PRAYER REQUEST UPDATE
    My friend’s father died about three hours after I posted the prayer request. He knew Christ as his Lord and Savior and is now in his very presence beholding him face to face. 
     
    This is a great loss for my friend. She was 18 when her mother died and her brother died a couple years ago and she was very close to her father.
     
    Thank you for your prayers.

    1. Thanks for letting us know, Cindy.  ‘beholding him face to face’……exactly the way Psalm 17 closes.  What peace and yet what profound loss all wrapped together.  Will pray for your friend and her family this week. 

    2. Random post.  My mind and heart are swirling together here.  I’ve been immersing myself in some of the most moving Holy week songs today.  Tears.  I’ve been reading Bonhoeffer until my brain hurts…. trying to understand and wrap my head around ‘the Cost of Discipleship’.  Tears.   Just scrolling through this week’s and some of the previous week’s posts,  unexpected tears keep surfacing.  The peace, the pain, the sorrow,  support, the love, the wisdom, the kindness.  It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt a part of so much of this kind of fellowship.  It’s hard to express what a game changer this blog has been for me this Lent.   On Palm Sunday, I posted a song that means a lot to me on my facebook page.  I like to step away from facebook during Holy Week, so I kinda left the song ‘Beautiful Scandalous Night’ as a reminder of the week ahead.   As I’ve mentioned before, my oldest son, when he was in high school, was very involved with contemporary and alternative Christian music.  He wrote many songs, had his own band and bought and played a zillion CD’s in the mid to late 90’s….early 2000’s.  The band called “The Choir” was one of his favorites, and he knew I loved this song, so he gave it to me on a composite CD that he made, not that many years ago.  Some of you have heard me say that he walked away from the Lord the year he went to Christian college.  It’s been 12 long years.  His sister, two years younger…..is in much the same place, having left her faith for other paths as well.   When I posted the song, I mentioned that my oldest son had introduced me to it…..but didn’t tag him. He often doesn’t interact with things I post on facebook….which is  totally fine.  We have a very close relationship…..but are also in two pretty different worlds a lot of the time.  So…..when I did go back and ‘check’ briefly if I had any notices/personal messages on fb…..I discovered that he had ‘liked’ and commented on the song,  and reminisced a bit of the great memories of that band and music.   I can’t read a lot into this, but it felt so sweet and gave me another ray of hope.   I will see if I can post the song in another comment.  I have played it 20 times this week. 
       

      1. Wanda, I can certainly relate when you say you are “trying to understand and wrap my head around ‘the Cost of Discipleship’”   I am struggling with it also! It is so difficult that I can only take it in small doses.   I hope I can finish the book by Easter, but I’m not giving any guarantees at this time!  
        .  

        1. Thanks, Deanna.  I am reading it very slowly also.  I just finished Keller’s sermon though and some of what he said helped clarify some questions I had from the part I read today.  So good to hear the same message in many ways.  

        2. Keller’s sermon:   I listened very late last night.  Went through my notes this morning and want to look up many of the scriptures he referenced.  It continually amazes me how clearly so many ‘pieces’ fit together in the Old and New Testaments.  I loved the ‘easy’ way to explain the gospel using the OT.  ‘God didn’t give the Israelites the Law and then when they obeyed….brought them out.  No.  He brought them out and THEN gave them the Law.”     This helped me understand some of the questions I was having from ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ too. 
           
          Another thing that really stands out to me was his description of the two mediators:
          Moses was so identified with the people that their guilt was upon him.  There were times when he took the rebuke for their sin.
          Yet, he was so identified with God, that God’s power worked through him.  He was the middle man.  The mediator.
          However:  There is a much better mediator. 
          Jesus does not just identify with man.  He IS fully man.   He does not just identify with God.  He IS fully God.  AND for Him, there is not a single rebuke for sin.  In any verse.  Ever.    He is the perfect mediator between God and man.
           
          The whole truth of ‘crossing over’ and how Keller described it for the Israelites, for Moses, for Paul….for us was striking to me.    And that it does not depend on the quality of our faith but the object of our faith.  Loved the comparison he made of what was surely going through some of the Israelites minds:  (‘God’s on our side.  Take that, Pharoah!”   to ‘I’m gonna die.  I’m gonna die.  I’m gonna die’)  varying degrees of ‘faith’ to be sure.  But they all EQUALLY crossed over.     Reminds me of the old statement.  ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross’.   The chief of sinners, Paul, understood this and knew he had instantaneously ‘crossed over’ even though he spent his life working, growing, teaching, it was the moment he believed in Jesus that brought him from death to life.  And all the references to ‘stand still.’  The Lord will fight for you.  Such a clear and encouraging sermon.

      2. Wanda, thank you for sharing your random post…I am sure your son “liking” and reminiscing about that song warmed your heart!

        1. Yes, Susan, it did.  Thank you.  🙂

      3. Wanda, I appreciate your sharing about your son who has walked away from the Lord and his musical background in Christian alternative music. I’m going to search for the song “Beautiful Scandalous Night” and listen to it. Yes, a little ray of hope. It is so good that you remain close to him. I will pray for you and your family.

      4. Wanda…encouraging…a glimmer…:)

        1. Thank you, Diane and Nanci.  I feel so blessed to know others relate and care.
          Diane, I posted the song a little bit below this.  I thought just the link would show up….but what I’m seeing, is the whole ‘picture’ ready to click on it.  I guess I need to go back to the tutorial and see how to post it so just the link appears 🙂

    3. Oh, SO hard.  Praying, Cindy.

    4. Oh Cindy how awfully sad….I am praying for her.

  10. Here’s the song I wrote about above.  Beautiful Scandalous Night by ‘the Choir’.   I looked at many versions….and there are some great ones.  I wanted to post it from ‘the Choir’ so I chose this one. The lyrics aren’t visible….but they are so good.  Hopefully, you can open it and the ads aren’t too annoying 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3HmfiVQeww&feature=kp
     
     

    1. Thanks for the link to the song, Wanda.

    2. Wanda, how did you get this video on your post..I can post links but haven’t figured out how to post the actual video. Thanks!

      1. I don’t actually know, Rebecca!  I just highlighted everything that was in the browser bar (is that what you call it?)  and copy/pasted.    And it all showed up.  I was actually wondering how to post just a link to something….as I was surprised the video showed up 🙂

        1. Interesting.  Maybe the difference is in copying the link from the url in the browser, vs the share button?  (but I think I’ve copied from the bar at the top of the browser at some point and don’t think it showed an image of the video…)

  11. 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.
     
     
    Verse 5  -“My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.”  (Here I envision the Israelites crossing the red sea through the path that is opened for them)  
     
    Verse 7 – “you save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.”   (Here I see Charleton Heston/Moses 🙂 stretching out his hand at God’s command for the waters to part)
     
    Verse 9 –   “Keep me…from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.”  (The Egyptians had them surrounded before the crossed the Red Sea.)
     
    Verse 11 – “They have tracked me down; they now surround me.”   (Pharaoh had let the Israelites go, but changed his mind, and then the Egyptian army tracked down the Israelites at the edge of the sea.)  
     
    Verse 13 – “ confront them, bring them down, rescue me from the wicked.”   (The Egyptians were brought down in the Red Sea when they tried to follow the Israelites across.)
     
    Verse 14 – “ You still the hunger of those you cherish.”   (The Lord provided manna and quail for the Israelites during their sojourn in the wilderness.)
     

    1. Thanks for posting the verses and their connections you see with Moses and the Israelites, Deanna. That is helpful.

    2. I agree, Deanna.  I had written down the same verses…..and thought about them….but hadn’t written out the parallels.  I’m just going to say ‘ditto’ to your post.  Thanks! 

  12.  Watch Keller’s video called “Getting Out” and share your comments.
     
    Dee, I noted a change in terminology this week.   Usually you ask for “notes” on the sermon, but this time you asked for “comments.”    I hope I didn’t make too much out of that switch, as I am not posting notes, but instead making comments here. 
     
    Keller was comparing the redemption of a Christian to the rescue of the Israelites in the Exodus story.   I have to say I was intrigued with this, as I had never, ever contemplated such a thing before!!     Who would believe it – a Holy Week lesson from Exodus?!     
     
    He said that the Israelites got out of bondage, but inside they were not free.  Seemingly you can take the person out of slavery, but may not be able to take the slavery out of the person.   I think there is some of that in each of us.  I certainly see it in myself.   
     
    In the part about “Crossing over by grace,” he said “The Principle of grace couldn’t be clearer.”   Moses told the Israelites “Stand still – God is going to do it all for you!”   We are not to look at our own works, but receive complete grace by Christ’s works.     It is that “standing still” that is so hard for us, I think.     In fact, he said that work/righteousness is our default mode.  I found very interesting his insight from times he had sat with a dying person, and he observed that the last light to go out was the light of regret.  I understood him to mean that the person wished they had “done” something – back to work/righteousness.  
     
    Keller must have been speaking at some kind of symposium with multiple speakers, and the audience must have included many ministers and ministerial students.   I thought it was strategic that he warned them that their success in ministry should never become more important to them than God, and he pointed out the potential symptoms: being mad, sad, or petrified if something or someone interfered with or threatened their ministry.   
     
    Personally, what impacted me the most in this sermon was the use of the quote by Shedd: 
    “Sin is the suicidal action of the human will against itself.”    Wow!   How true!    Knowing this, why do we repetitively sin?   No wonder we need our Mediator so badly!   

  13. 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.
    V1,2 and V.6 -The Israelites cried out for deliverance: God heard their cry and brought them out of bondage. (Exodus 6:5, 6)
    V7-“show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand..”: God delivered them out of bondage.
    V8,9- “Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wing from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.”: They were surrounded by their enemies and it seemed hopeless but God parted the seas and delivered them.
    V15-God also vindicated them.
     

  14. Keller sermon reflections: I am unable to post notes but will post reflections as to how he quickened me. 

    I listened at work and the two things He quickened me with were an encouragement about the layers of bondage in my heart-By His Grace He opens my eyes and convicts me usually before I open my mouth or shortly afterward-yet there are these layers of bondage I am not aware of like Sara Groves song, layers of lies. He will bring these lies to the surface as time goes on. He doesn’t ignore me-he stays on top of it and counsels me. :)) NOW-I just need to listen and yield to him willing to hear the truth about the lies inside. 
     
    Also, I was encouraged as to why I grieve when I sin-and to be careful to not take sin lightly-His Grace helps me to not take it lightly. IT is all HIM..HE BROUGHT ME OUT OF BONDAGE-HE REMOVES THESE LAYERS OF BONDAGE..I just need to yield and the Gospel should melt me to yield to His quickening. 🙂
     
    When I sin I am choosing a worthless idol who is hell bent for my destruction over my glorious savior and the lover of my soul who chose to be forsaken by God-who chose to take on my destruction so I wouldn’t be destroyed by my idols and so that He could have me and break and remake me-and to hide in Him forever.  To bring me safe under His wings..THIS is what should motivate me to repent and turn from the destroyer of my soul.
     
    The temptation I face at work-lately is often like the sarah groves song-Painting pictures of Egypt.  

  15. oops-sorry to post so much on the Keller “getting out”–I should have paid attention to posting my comments rather han notes, missed that. And I always struggle to condense Keller because so much hits me!

    I’m still unable to log into Gospel in Life for the other Keller sermon, and I’ve tried 3 different browsers.

    1. I was glad for your notes, Elizabeth.  I just went through them and filled in a few gaps I had in mine 🙂

    2. Elizabeth-OH NO…I love your notes for they are helpful when I listen to the sermons at work –having your notes and others notes is such a loving way to serve people like me when we are unable to take notes.  🙂 

    3. Ditto to all of the above… Good to have your notes, elizabeth 🙂

    4. Elizabeth, I had to log on and change my password because I never got an email that told me about the new website. That was the instruction when I went to the Redeemer site. did you ever get on?

  16. 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.
     
    “Show the wonder of your great love…” – it was an awesome wonder how God parted the Red Sea for His beloved.
    “…You who save by Your right hand those who take refuge in You from their foes” and “…hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.” – The Egyptians were the foes and mortal enemies who assailed God’s people and He gave them refuge and protected them.
     
    Verses 10-12 describing the enemies of God’s people could very well describe the pursuing Egyptian army – they “tracked me down, they now surround me…they are like a lion hungry for prey”
     
    “Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down” – God did just that when His people crossed the Sea safely but the Egyptians drowned.

  17. Comments on Keller’s sermon, Getting Out
    The comparison between the Israelites being freed from bondage with the NT, with us, will (if it soaks in!) inform how I read & apply the Egypt & after OT:  first in foregin land in bondage, took shelter under the blood of the lamb, the tabernacle-grace and forgiveness, and God will stay with us until we get home.
    The 4 layers of redemption:   I spent the most time thinking about this part.  Interesting to superimpose the 4 layers onto Dee’s question 2, how/when the scales fell off.  The sermon clarifies my response:  
    1) objectively saved:  young child
    2) subjectively saved from works righteousness:  after a few years of (for a little while, untreated but mostly) untreatable depression, I realized that not only could I not be perfect, but that I had nothing on my own.  It was only by God’s grace that I could be in school, hold a job, have any income, etc.   Unfortunately, some of the “altar calls” and similar events fed into the works righteousness mentality for awhile.  The challenge is that people can’t get me to follow rules out of fear that I’m not a “good enough” Christian.
    3&4) still in bondage to sin and idols — although, I could add times related to freedom from specific habits and idols.    As I have mentioned earlier, recent important times were the SoS study and the Litchfield retreat (and a work challenge the week/day of the retreat so that I was so ready to be there/rest).   Other important or interesting statements: 
    Sin is the action of suicidal will against itself.  I’ve experienced this, but primarily with psychological terminology.  This helps me see the damage of sin.   When I give in to sin, it becomes easier to commit the same sin the next time, and sin is destructive. 
     
    Stand still and see that God has fought the battle.   All other problems are flea bites compared to that.   This is so illustrative because I still have a spot on my leg that started with bites ~6 years ago (my mom was still living with me — she died 3 yrs ago and was in memory care for the last 2 yrs of her life, and she kept telling me I needed to get it “checked out”).   Both legs were covered with bites, and the more I scratched the more I itched.  And, I still have a spot that gets itchy and just when it is almost completely healed, the combination of stress, an itch, dry skin, and either not thinking or not caring result in a quick scratch —    So, the big battle was fought, no danger there, but long term challenges resulting from flea bites do continue.  Because the battle has been won, ALL other problems are flea bites — even when they feel like, and from a human perspective are monumental.   God won the victory, so I can relax.
     
    The concept of God’s creative spirit; turning against God, sin = chaos, de-creation, disintegration.  The plagues, the disintegration didn’t come against Egypt because they had a mediator.    Still pondering this one in terms of my bent toward creativity and chaos.  
     
    God brought the children of Israel out before he gave them the law.  YES!!  🙂
     
    We sin because of the idols, because we are afraid.   Helpful to slow down and see the fear (and I am seeing God calming me, slowing me, when I am with people who are trapped in work mess) — would propel me to God rather than the idol.
     
    There was so much in this teaching session — appropriate for the target audience, but it may have been a little too much for a Sunday morning sermon 🙂    Also good to ponder how, when, and how much to share with people, depending on the audience.

    Oops! Now that I’ve hit submit, I see that even though I’ve only put in a little of my notes, my comment, um, are long. I really do apply the stuff to life (sheepish grin).

  18. Dee, the video clip of Psalm 22 is amazing.   (Getty song, too) Totally captured my imagination to be able to Christ in the psalm.  Thank you!  Great find (I went to YouTube to see what else the person had posted.  Good stuff there, and I am so distractible!)
     
    7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?  Jesus cried these words on the cross.   He paid for the sins of the world, and that sin separated him from God’s holiness. My sin, sin of one person, would also cause/lead to that separation —  but I am contemplating the weight of the world’s sin (and not sure I “get” individual vs. world)
     
    8. What does verse 3 teach you?   That God is holy.   I wasn’t sure what was meant by “enthroned on the praises of Israel.”  I looked it up in several versions and paraphrases.  (Some are very weird, e.g., The Message).  I love the KJV “O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”    I read the following online:

    this verse is the beginning of the picture of verses 3-5. It goes on to say that God is the one in whom “our fathers put their trust,” the one who delivered them when they cried out to him.
    This supplies the explanation for Israel’s praise. It is because he had come to their rescue. By his deeds for them he had shown himself to be their God and King, ‘enthroned’ in their midst. And so he had become their trust and their boast.

    and this,

    Consider then what David does in declaring that God is “the praise of Israel,” etc.

    Here, and throughout the psalm, he reminds God not only of his servant’s plight, but of God’s promises, his past deeds, and his glory.

    By doing so he is uttering words of worship/praise.

    He is also reminding himself of these things, encouraging himself to take hold of God, by remembering God’s goodness and looking forward with hope to singing his praises before his people. 

    God is faithful and has been faithful to Israel, to Jesus, to us.  He is Emmanuel, God with us.  We praise him because we absolutely know who he is… and he delights in us and our praise.
     

  19. I listened to Keller’s sermon “Getting Out” and appreciate how he drew all the pieces of the puzzle together regarding salvation, grace, redemption, obedience and so on. It also helps me see how the Old Testament is a picture of God’s saving grace; it is fascinating how many times the Bible refers back to the crossing of the Red Sea and its symbolism.

    I attended a funeral service of a relative of a church member today and the preacher quoted Psalm 16:11 

     You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

    He especially referred to the “pleasures forevermore” that we will enjoy once this earthly life is over. Made me smile and think of last week’s study and all you dear folk.

    1. Oh , Diane, the same thing is happening to me.  These psalms and this blog is such a part of me that when I hear portions of these psalms, I light up!

      1. Me too.  On Sunday, the sermon, our ABF lesson both were saying the same things that Cost of Discipleship says…which was clarified for me, in part, by the Keller sermon yesterday.  I feel like I’m in ‘another world’ lately….learning and being challenged with so much.  🙂

  20. 9. What sustains the suffering servant according to verses 4 and 5? 
    That God delivered their fathers.  This is so good because over recent years, I’ve gotten to know several more people who are Jewish, and this strengthens the connection and empathy.
    When did God deliver someone from your past that can serve as an encouragement to you?
    In the past, I’ve thought about about how God delivered people in my family history, because I saw such a contrast between my grandparents and some of their siblings.  I grew up with a heritage of people praying, seeking God.  AND I had a strong family history of alcoholism (and other problems) on both sides of the family.  But my grandparents and their children (my parents) were spared from alcoholism, and my great grandparents sought after God (at least during some parts of their lives, not sure of all the details).  Pretty strong thread of depression on one side though.  Even in family threads with families destroyed through severe alcoholism, I’ve seen redemption.
     
    I haven’t always connected the dots with another pattern (until I read something of FB that got me thinking this week).  In each generation, there have widows/widowers before all the children were grown.  e.g., I didn’t meet one of my grandmas (some children still at home, and others in 20s); my great-grandpa who was godly (but died way before my time) lost his wife when his children were young.  My dad (and uncle) died when we were young. I barely even have a glimpse at the whole tapestry but I’m seeing that God used some deaths to draw widows & widowers closer to him and maybe to intervene in that streak of extreme self-sufficiency. God’s faithfulness to early generations in the midst of depression and other illnesses and obedience of family members impacted my choices. I listened to Steve Green singing “Find Us Faithful” during a certain era.    From lyrics:  “Their lives a stirring testimony to God’s amazing grace.” 

    This also connects with Keller’s statement that “Sin is the action of suicidal will against itself.”  Each sin does make it easier to sin the next time;   I believe that a family history of some sins also makes it easier to justify acting on temptation.  My nieces and nephew were very tiny when experienced some of the most severe temptations of my life, and I didn’t want to leave a legacy that hurt them.  As it was, I was scrounging out to very distant relatives trying to justify an action because “so and so” did it.  God won!  And given both the good and bad of family history, I now KNOW (after reflecting for this question) that God has delivered my family and myself from far far more than I will ever know in this life (and I know enough that it is sorta overwhelming.)   Oh dear, that was a draining one.  Might have to take a break 🙂

  21. 10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
    He was despised and mocked.  He also knew God’s faithfulness is the past.
    11. How do you see Christ in verses 9-10, and the hope that sustains him? 
    I see him conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to Mary — and God was with him from the beginning.  The change from leaving heaven to become an infant who had to depend fully on his mother was HUGE.  
     
    What words of Christ’s on the cross bring this scene to mind?  From John 19,

    26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
     

    But maybe I am overlooking something obvious and I am on the wrong track ??
     
    13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?  “I thirst.”    Also from after he died, John 19:35
     

    34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
     

    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
     
    This one was easier than some of the ones above 😉         Jesus was hungry and dehydrated.   I’m not sure how much time there was between Jesus’ fast in the wilderness and his death (max: 3 yrs ?) , but he wouldn’t have had time to get fat.  This reminds me of people who have anorexia nervosa, or pictures of concentration camp victims, or those who have lost substantial weight during their  last months of life.  It is possible to see the definitions of their bones.  This makes me wonder how thin Jesus was during his ministry.  He must’ve been  small by today’s standards.

  22. 15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?
    When the soldiers tore apart his outer garment and cast lots for his tunic.  Not only were they treating his crucifixion as an event for souvenirs, they exposed him to the shame associated with nakedness/immodesty.  He was totally vulnerable, nothing covering him
     
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
    That God would be near, would come quickly, and that his soul would be delivered from those who didn’t quit hounding him.

  23. 14.  Didn’t put down the obvious in the challenge question:  His clothes had been taken away.  Not only would the outline of his bones been visible, he wasn’t wearing any clothes to cover his gaunt appearance.

  24. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?
    The Father had to turn away from sin. He is a holy God. Because of me, in spite of me, the Son bore my sin. Could time have stood still so the Son’s pain in being forsaken was but a split second? Did it feel like a thousand years? Regardless, He did it for me! What love-while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!
    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.
    v.3 has taught me God never abdicates his position at the throne. He sits in authority and he is Lord over all. When He arises, it is with majesty and power and all seeing of all His creation. There is no trouble in this world affecting His children/me that He does not know of or is not in control.
     
    An old song I used to sing in the Philippines. I found this sweet rendition by Tomislav Bonsjak: Cover me, Lord  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3vyWg9IOcM    I want the Lord to be my covering each day.
     
    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?
    Their trust in God because HE never disappoints. An older Chinese gentleman who was a seeker and attending our church in the Philippines was delivered from alcoholism. He became a Christian and has been an active member of a local church since then. He is going through some health struggles right now but his faith continues to be strong despite periods of discouragement. Pray with me for Mr. Yap and his daughter, and granddaughter. He has been a widow for several years now.
    10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
    He was scorned and rejected and mocked and insulted all the way from Gethsemane to the Cross.
    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?
    He was born of the virgin named Mary(brought out of the womb);  I could just imagine Jesus looking at his earthly mother and commissioning John to take care of her
    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
    A circle of predators surrounding their prey; Emotions of fear and uncertainty or certainty of death and defeat And then as I read on and come to vs. 19, what consolation in a three letter word BUT… you, O Lord…O my strength!
    14. Challenge question: I believe Jesus had lost a lot of blood and fluids by the time he was hanging on the cross. This caused the skin to shrink as it dehydrated and the skin basically wrapped around the bones. Each breath is labored and thus made the bones even more pronounced. Oh, my dear Lord! I can not write this without crying. Thank you for dying on the cross for me!
     
     

    1. Thank you, Bing, for that rendition of ‘Cover Me’.  ‘Sweet’ describes it perfectly.  The painting on the cover of the song is so telling and well done also.  It blessed me to hear it again.

  25. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Dee talking to the the man and telling him God is wooing him. How God longs to woo us all and sometimes I miss the point or get frustrated in ‘doing’ rather than just accepting He already did it on the cross. There is nothing I can do more than surrender to Him and let him woo me. What a beautiful thing it is…how sweet…nothing compares to Him.
    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?
    I became radically saved at the age of 21. So I remember it well. I had attended church growing up, off/on. My dad and step-mother did not. I think I enjoyed the escape youth group gave me away from my abusive alcoholic father and passive step-mother. At times even as a teen-ager I would find myself almost crying during a song we sang called “It Only Takes A Spark”.   I was definitely living for myself, partying with friends and I remember thinking there had to be more to life than that. I literally felt so bored and numb to the life of the world. The mother of a guy I was dating invited me to her church one Sunday morning. I did not get saved that morning, I just sat and cried my eyes out the whole service…little did I know that was God wooing me. I left very confused as to why I was crying. Long story short, a few weeks later I went to church again with her on a Wednesday night, sick with fever even..but for some reason I just wanted to go. I cried again the whole service, not understanding what was happening to me. Two older ladies came up to me and said they could sense God all around me, would I like to go up for prayer and receive Christ. I went, still not knowing what was going on with me, I cried like I had never cried before that night as I surrendered my heart to Jesus. I also was filled with the Holy Spirit and for once in my life….I felt alive, a reason to live and purpose. All the past hurts didnt seem to matter as much. I found Jesus. He truly was more real to me than any idols, false gods, anything that I had tried in my past.  I remember just feeling so alive, so happy…I went home after church and my grandmother did not believe that I had went. Because I literally sat before her laughing and crying, she thought I was literally drunk on alcohol and threatened to kick me out of her house. My grandfather was the only person who understood, he asked me a simple question “Do you feel good, do you feel whole now…?” . I did…I could not put it into words, but I did. There is a lot more to that testimony how I almost died before I was saved…but that would probably freak some of you out how it all came about. But God is good. When you come from the pits of hell in life to someone like Jesus, who loves you and pulls you out and gives you a purpose for living…there is no one like Him. 

    1. Staci,  thank you for sharing your deliverance that is so beautiful, and so dramatic. God is good all the time, and yet in
      situations as you described, I always have such delight at how he brings his children to him! His love is truly unconditional and just awesome.
       

      1. 🙂

    2. Oh my, Staci. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony – a beautiful work of God. I can identify with the tears – when God touches my life there are very frequently tears, sometimes many of them.

      1. I cry now more than I did before I was saved…lol. But as I tell my husband, sometimes I cry in church, I’m not sad, but happy. I found Jesus…to me that’s tears of joy.

    3. Staci,
      So good to read your beautiful testimony.  THANK YOU.   Oh, I don’t freak out about past events very easily 🙂   just freak out “in the moment”  and even sometimes minor events, when I’ve had  coffee without food).  Getting old enough to have been around the block, but had seen 95% up close and personal of it by early/mid/maybe a little in late-20s!!  Messed up people hang out together in subcultures (for understanding/acceptance)— one reason moving can facilitate healing!

    4. Staci.…It’s a joy to hear your faith story.  Thanks for sharing it.  I think you look too young to remember ‘It Only Takes a Spark’ 🙂  That was a staple of my youth group days.   It intrigues me how God uses music of so many kinds to draw us to Him…..and when we hear it again, years later, it still stirs us. 

      1. Ha, thanks Wanda, but I will be 43 in JuLy. I was an 80s kid. 🙂

        1. Yep….that’s young!  I guess I was in an earlier crowd who sang ‘It only takes a Spark’……  🙂  (I was a late 50’s kid singing it in the ’70’s) 

    5. Oh Staci – your story gave me goosebumps and tears to match yours.  Beautiful His amazing touch on our lives to bring us to Him! Thank you for sharing.

      1. 🙂

      1. 🙂

    6. oops, that posted in the wrong spot?

  26. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?
     
    Jesus spoke these words when he was on the cross:
     
    “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” (Matthew 27:45-49 NIV)
     
     
    Forsaken is to be abandoned; deserted. He was abandoned on the cross, but not from God in heaven. God was in charge, He was orchestrating all the events that were happening. He couldn’t be saved physically from the cross because people needed to see and hear of the resurrection. Then they would know He lived! Then they would know they too could live forever.  It seemed as if He was abandoned, but in reality He was not.
     
     

  27. Dear ones, thank you all for wonderful sharing. I wish I had more time to absorb every comment, but I want to mention Elizabeth’s sermon outline- very helpful.
    My Bible study fellowship has been in Exodus and this sermon was so meaningful. Moses was a type of Christ and the message of the crossing over so powerful. The scripture of Ex.14:13-15 is now a very important reminder to me to do as the word says, Stand firm. do not be afraid. You will see the deliverance of the Lord.
    We were under the sentence of death ; salvation is getting out of the bondage of our sin. Yes, we have layers.
    We still have the “slavishness”. What a concept and it gives me understanding of my weaknesses.
    I love the song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Yes, I am able to claim the words, Stand firm, My Redeemer is the ultimate mediator.
    Wanda, the song you shared is beautiful. Will pray for your son, as I do for my grandsons to grasp what our Savior has done for us and to claim it personally.
    Cindy, praying for your friend whose father passed on. Grieving a loss is so hard.

    1. Thank you for praying, Shirley.  Blessings.

    2. “No incident in the life of David can account for many parts of this psalm — it is clear prophecy of our Lord’s crucifixion.”
       
      This is just so, so amazing to me.   Every time I read OT Messianic prophecies….some so specific, like this Psalm and Isaiah 53, it is so clear that Jesus is Messiah.  I have a hard time understanding why Judaism doesn’t accept that. 
       
      The Psalm 22 video is such a great visual.  Honestly, I don’t think I have ever seen it come together as a whole so well until I saw that.  Thanks so much for including it, Dee.
       
       
      7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?    Jesus talks about needing to be saved…..and asks where is His father, in His greatest time of need?   Jesus is on the cross.  He took the words of the Psalm with him there.   
       
      “It was my sin that held him there.  The Father turns His face away”.….  The words to ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’  by Stuart Townend go through my mind over and over. 
       
      It’s reminiscent of when Adam and Eve’s fellowship with God in the garden paradise was broken because of sin.  They had to leave God’s holy presence.  All through the scripture, we see that no one can be in God’s presence without a mediator….the high priest took sacrifices into the Holy of Holies.  Moses was the mediator for the Israelites to ‘cross over’.  At this moment of anguish, Jesus….who has ‘become sin for us’ faces the horrific separation from his Father.  When I think about his prayer in John 17 and how he reminisced about ‘the glory I had in the beginning with you‘,  Jesus loved to get away from the crowds and draw near to His Father alone.  He loved the time when it was ‘just you and me, Dad’.   And now, the horrible separation. 
       
      Yet, Jesus…..because of his sinless and perfect obedience, became the perfect and ultimate mediator.  Through the cross,  we can cross over.
       
       

  28. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?
    Jesus was taking on my penalty for my sin so that I wouldn’t have to pay that penalty-which I couldn’t and I would end up eternally separate from God. God is Holy-He can’t be in the presence of sin so He turned his face from Jesus..This always breaks my heart for it was an instant severing of intimacy and delight with one another. Jesus was completely and utterly alone basically He went through hell for me. 
     
    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.
    He is THE Holy One-the One to be praised.

    This one at this concert ALWAYS moves me-always.
    Isaiah 6: 1- 4 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another- “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
     
    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?
    Remembering how He delivered them in the past-how they placed their trust in Him and how He delivered them.  
     
    I have many examples of friends and family who He has delivered but the most profound I have to say is someone I don’t know personally but read a book about her. Karla Faye Tucker’s deliverance made a profound impact on me. She exuded His love and He moved through her to make an impact on the women in prison as well as those outside the walls.   She has a dramatic transformation as He came to her through a Bible she thought she was stealing at one of the meetings in prison. 🙂 How he came to her-a woman who was abused and neglected-who didn’t truly experience a mother and father’s love-He came to her and cocooned her with His love as she breathed in His Word and ripped out by the roots all that hate and turmoil inside.  Reading about her suffering and especially so in the last days of her life yet Her trust in Him throughout and her constant focus on others was huge to me. Even the prison guards who have seen faux transformations, say Karla was for real..This is GOD’s Holy, redeeming power of deliverance and encourages me so both in my own life with Him as well as in the non-believers around me.   
     
    Karla was an example of what inward deliverance looks like and that even though He may not deliver us from our painful circumstances-He deeply desires to deliver us on the inside and make us beautiful like Him. 
     
     

  29. Here is the same link to the song I posted above but I am trying to link it in a different way.. just experimenting: http://youtu.be/HPBmFwBSGb0

    How do you all get the actual video to post? I have seen that in some of your posts. :))

    1. I see the video in my email, but not here on the blog; not sure why. Beautiful song!

    2. Just listened to Agnus Dei.   Words and music so powerfully in sync.  (Just have to share that our local high school choir and band, performed all of the songs to Agnus Dei  as a special concert for two years in December.  My youngest daughter was in the choir.  It was amazing.  God’s Word alive and well in the public schools 🙂  and was received so well.) 

    3. Rebecca – I think its a Firefox thing? It only happens when I am on my laptop using Firefox….And its automatic, I past the link and the actual video pops up when I post.

  30. Wanda, Love the song you posted.  Not seeing the post now.  I used to hear it all the time on the radio (so I’d never thought of it as alternative!!).  But I can’t link it to an era of my life…  If since I lived in this house, it would have been when I was driving a lot (don’t get/listen to much Christian radio in this house).   If first half of the 90s, I would have been in school — and radio may have been more alternative.  But the song doesn’t SEEM that old… hmm.  Unless it’s on some kind of compilation CD?

    1. Renee!  You turned into a dolphin!  Or something?   Must have been quite a week grading papers.  I am instantly thinking of the Don Knotts movie ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpott”  (I think that was his name)  Watched it when I was a kid and thought the ‘special effects’ were amazing.  Watched it when my kids were little and didn’t quite have the same mystique 🙂   Okay….but that’s a digression.
       
      I don’t think this song is ‘alternative’ either…..but maybe The Choir was aligned more with the alternative groups.  Anyway, in the facebook  thread, my brother listed them that way.  I love the way those lyrics are woven together so much.  And I love the way ‘the Choir’ does it with the hammering constantly in the background.  Didn’t hear that in some of the cover versions.   It came out in 2000 I believe. 

      1. 🙂    I switched email addresses in case I decided to check the email boxes below on this blog.  Different pics for different accounts, but the email address that my fingers type in automatically is associated with the dolphin (it’s also runs nearly full because I’ve had it for so many years and use it for storage!).   I’m guessing that being on automatic pilot DOES have something to do with the time of the semester (missed a conf call yesterday — and it was on my calendar, just didn’t hear the “ding”).  Have barely made a dent in the papers; spending too much time being proactive that I’m running out of time for reactive.  It’s not supposed to work that way ;)In a few minutes, I will be car-impaired for the rest of the day.  So will get grading done.  Might set up shop downtown so that I don’t get distracted by (or distract) people at work!!

  31. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?
     
    Jesus spoke this in Matthew 22:46. God forsake our sin that Jesus bore FOR US. Isaiah 53:6—“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.” In the Easter devotional I have, Phillip Ryken discusses this verse. He says we cannot comprehend the “why” if Jesus Himself could not fully understand it, but he also says this “When Jesus was wearing our sin on the cross, God the Father could not bear to look at the sin or at his Son. He had to avert his gaze. He had to shield his eyes. He had to turn his back. He had to condemn and reject and curse and damn that sin.” So it is not so much the Son as the sin that God must forsake.
     
    A few days ago, the Spurgeon morning devotion was on this verse. His words brought it even deeper for me: “There are seasons when the brightness of our Father’s smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ’s case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father’s love; but the real turning away of God’s face from his Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused him?”

  32. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross? 
    Part of the punishment Jesus endured to save us from our sins was separation from God.  Previous to this time, there had been no separation, Jesus had been in perfect union with His Father/God.  While on the cross this union was severed.  For the first and only time, Jesus was without God…the sin of humanity Jesus took on separated Him from God.

    8. What does verse 3 teach you?
    God is good, loving, powerful, just, faithful, etc.  He had the power to intervene; He had saved Israel time and again showing His power, might, care, and gentleness; the Lord could have acted to save Jesus from the brutality and death, but He didn’t.  This was the price/punishment Jesus paid to make humanity right with God.
     
    The song…”O Sacred Head, now wounded”
    v. 2 “…mine, mine was the transgressions, but thine the deadly pain.”
     
    9. What sustains the suffering servant according to verses 4 and 5?
    Trusting in the Lord.

    1. “O Sacred Head now wounded” is one of my favorites, Nanci. I love Amy Grant’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqsmTIuLmlA

      1. “Oh Sacred Head’ is a favorite of mine as well….
        “What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend.  For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end. 
        Oh make me Thine forever and should I fainting be….Oh let me never, never outlive my love for Thee.”
        Did that from memory, but I think that’s it.  I have always been challenged by those words…..’let me never , never outlive my love for Thee’.  (as well as the rest of the song.)  One of the most moving lenten hymns.

  33. 8. What does verse 3 teach you?
    I’m not sure this is what you were looking for, but what strikes me here is that while Jesus was forsaken by God, He does not turn away from God. He continues to praise Him as holy. And though He is forsaken, He continues to seek Him. Even in verse one, He cries out “My God”. I’ve read that this is the only time Jesus did not refer to God as Father. To me it implies a reverence, that is still very personal, but further recognizes His position under God, it emphasizes to me the holy submission to God, as God.
     
    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?
     
    God’s faithfulness in the past. Some of the most encouraging times are not huge moments, but times when I can look back and know I was brought out from fear of an “impending doom” and I can see that what I feared did not materialize.
     
    10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
     
    Matthew 27: 39-44 “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way”
    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?
     
    “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Luke 23:46. He was with God in the beginning—He has no start or end—He always has been with Him, in Him.

    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
     
    He is surrounded by vicious enemies, attacking Him physically, spiritually.

    13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
     
    John 19: 34 “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
     
    OK, this is likely off, but I thought this was interesting. John 19:33-37 says “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. .. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”

    Referring to Psalm 35:10 “All my bones shall say,“O Lord, who is like you,delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

    So could He count them because they were not broken? Of course, also He was dehydrated, likely starved…but the note in John was interesting to me.

    1. oops–on my #14 I somehow copied & posted the wrong verse–should have been Psalm 34:20 20 “He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

  34. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?  
     
    Matthew 27:46  – “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’  –which means, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.   
     
    My Life Application Study Bible commentary for that verse states: 
     
    Jesus was not questioning God, he was quoting the first ine of Psalm 22 – a deep expression of the anguish he felt when he took on the sins of the world, which caused him to be separated from his Father.  This was what Jesus dreaded as he prayed to God in the garden to take the cup from him.   The physical agony was horrible, but even worse was the period of spiritual separation from God.   Jesus suffered this double death so that we would never have to experience eternal separation from God.  
     
     
    8. What does verse 3 teach you? 
     
    “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.”   
     
    God is Holy and sovereign, and the reason He is the praise of Israel is that He has delivered the Israelites numerous times (the crossing of the Red Sea being the most notable).  
     
    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?
     
    The generations preceding David had trusted in God and had not found Him wanting.  God delivered them.  
     
    There were several times when my parents felt delivered, and they described it as “The Lord must have been watching over us.”   There was one time they wouldn’t have described it that way, and neither would I at the time, but looking back I can see they were rescued from neglect of their spiritual life.     There were a couple of years when my parents stopped attending church. At that time they had purchased a property that they renovated and rented.  It required much work, which required much time.    At this same time period, my brother was just an infant, and my Grandmother broke her hip and came to live with us so my mother could care for her.   They were swamped by life circumstances, and thus they neglected to go to church.   About that time, I was a 6th grader, and in my school an announcement was made that a start-up church was going to be holding Sunday School and worship in the school cafeteria.   (These were the days before so much separations of church and state!)    My best friend and her brother were going to be walking down to the school (10 doors from my house) and attending, so I joined them.     Later the church moved to a big old Georgian-style house about 3 miles away.  Then my friend’s parents would pick me up and take me to church with them.    My parents were perfectly happy for me to attend in this way  – that is until I surprised them one Sunday by coming home and announcing that I had made my confession of faith and was baptized – into the Presbyterian church!!! (So many of you on this blog are Presbyterian, so you are getting a large charge out of this, I’m sure)     My family had been Disciples of Christ.   This was a big wake-up call for my parents, I think, and they immediately pulled me out of that church.   Suddenly they found a way to get our whole family to the Disciples church we should have been attending all along.   I think the Lord used this method to draw my whole family back to Him.  
     
    10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
     
    There are many references in these verses that parallel Christ’s trial and crucifixion.   Jesus was
    “scorned, mocked, insulted.”   From the foot of the cross, men shouted for Jesus to save Himself, or that God should save Him, if He was truly the Son of God.
     
    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?  
     
    I’m thinking of Jesus turning his mother, Mary, over to the beloved disciple, John.  “Dear woman, here is your son,”   and (to the disciple) “Here is your mother.”   (John 19: 26 & 27)
     
    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?   
     
    I feel these verses are predicting the way the priest’s army of men would  come to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus.  That chaos that ensued must have resembled the rushing of bulls to surround Jesus and his disciples. 
     
    13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
     
    “I thirst!”    Crucifixion was an extremely dehydrating process, and we know at one point near the end the soldier thrust a spear into Jesus’ side and water gushed out.  

  35.  
    I want to share something I found.    It is an “Easter version of the song ‘Hallelujah”‘ sung by Kelley Mooney and a children’s choir.  If you listen all the way to the end where Kelley explains how she and the choir got together, you will hear one little –uh–“four-letter word” I wish she hadn’t used.  I hope you are more inspired by the music than offended with the four-letter-word. 🙂   I enjoyed it!
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0E02FMNU

    1. That was fabulous!  Deanna.  Wow!  She did a wonderful job of weaving in all the words of Jesus on the cross in a way that was lyrically pleasing (and rhymed) besides.  Very gifted singer and songwriter.  Loved it! 

    2. Deanna,  Thanks for sharing this.  She did  excellent work rewriting of the lyrics.   Cracked me up that her priest asked her to sing the original in church!  I like Cohen’s original — but it certainly illustrates sin and brokenness, and I wasn’t sure if I was “supposed to” like it” (I’ve heard one or two verses that are too racy for me.  Not sure how much was part of the original).   I’m glad she was sharp enough to consider the lyrics before singing it for Easter Mass !!  Impressed that she got copyright permission, too. Much better focus than the original. Good lyrics to go through my head when I hear the original.

  36. 15. What scene is depicted in verse 18? How does this show the utmost cruelty?
    Matthew 27:35 “And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.”
     
    Jesus was dying, giving up all of His life, His place as God’s Son, His holiness to take on our sin. And they wanted more. They cared nothing for His life, but wanted to tear and divide his clothes.
     
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
     
    He calls to God to be near Him, He cries for help, for deliverance.
     
    17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.
     
    Verse 24: he has not hidden his face from him but has heard, when he cried to himHe will not hide His face from me, and He hears me when I cry to Him.

  37. Website above still didn’t work for me for tomorrow’s sermon link, and the site might have been too new for Google spiders to pick up on it.  I went to the Redeemer website and eventually got to it.  Here’s the link from my browser, but if that doesn’t work, go to redeemer.com.   The “store” link is on the bar, upper right corner.  If you click on the Store link, you will get to the new website.  Then search for The Doctrine of Salvation.

    1. Yippee!  All my expired sermon links are now downloadable on the new website (62 of them).   

        1. 🙂    I’m sure I have some duplicates, too — haven’t looked yet!

  38. 17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.   I LOVE the breadth and depth.
    v. 27  “and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.”
    v. 31 “they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.

  39. Keller quotes “The Sacrifice,” a poem by George Herbert.  Here’s a whole (free) book of his poems:  A Year with George Herbert

    1. Thanks, Renee!

  40. 14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
     
    I think I would go along with Renee’s second answer to this question.   His clothes had been stripped from him, and with his arms pulled upward, his rib cage would really be prominent.   
     
    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?
     
    I remember this scene well from the old movie, The Robe.    The soldiers were gathered beneath the cross, casting dice to see who would get the robe of Jesus.  I think “the utmost cruelty” would come into play because it made the dying person all the more aware that he was dying, as they were assuming he would never have need for those clothes again.     
     
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
     
    Don’t hide yourself from me, help me, deliver me, rescue me and save me from these people who are acting like animals.   (My paraphase here!)
     
    17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.
     
    All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.  All who die will be with God and kneel before Him.    
     
    Future generations will be told about the Lord, and they will pass the word along to the generations that follow.     
     

  41. 8. What does verse 3 teach you?
     
    I looked at different versions and also (as Renee said) really like the KJV in that ‘God inhabits the praises of Israel….(his people)’……which to me affirms how God draws so near to us when we praise Him.  Other versions speak of God being enthroned on the praises of Israel (NASB) or that God IS the praise of Israel. (NIV) The Living Bible paraphrases…..’You are holy.  The praises of our fathers surrounded your throne’.  The importance of praise is evident as is the priority that God is the object of our praise.
     
    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?  
    Trusting in God:  a trust that did not disappoint his forefathers, in stories that were well known to Jesus from the Old Testament…..also familiar to David as he looked at the history of his people.    I’m still thinking on the second part of the question.
     
    10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?   scorned, despised (the definition I read, for this word ‘despised’ as in Isaiah 53 is to ‘disregard, to render as of little value, no significance),  mocked, insulted.  The psalmist uses the word ‘worm’.   Self abasement.  It reminds me of Phil. 2 and the words to ‘And Can it Be?’ again….
    “….emptied himself of all but love and died for Adam’s helpless race’…..
    It also reminds me of old hymns (At the Cross)  where the songwriter uses ‘worm’ to describe himself. 
    “Alas and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die?  Would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?”  
    We used to giggle at those words  when we were kids……and as we grew older referred to it positively as ‘worm theology’  We aren’t to exalt ourselves.  Jesus is our example of self abasement. We are to follow his example in Phil. 2…..

  42. One (of many) songs I appreciate:  How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.

    1. Oh Renee….I didn’t even click on the link yet, but I have been singing this all week.  (I love the Fernando Ortega version because I love his voice and it’s pretty easy to sing a decent duet with him!)  I was looking for the background of it and found a video of Stuart Townend talking about how/why he wrote it.  Love, love, love the song.)
       

  43. 10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
    Jesus was mocked, scorned, and had insults hurled at him. They mocked him saying if he is the son of God and since he trusts in God then let God deliver him. (Matthew 27: 39-44)
     
    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?
    “It is finished”, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit”.
     
    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
    While Jesus was on the cross in agony-suffering the worst death imaginable, those who wanted him crucified were there and were surrounding him hurling insults at him. I am thinking the guards and the priests, etc..It must have been horrible!
     
    13. What words from the cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
    When being crucified your bones come out of joint..and when they stuck a spear in his side out came water and blood.
     
    14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
    I am wondering if there is a correlation between not one of his bones being broken and this? I was also thinking his bones must have been showing because he was so emaciated and therefore easy to count. 
     
    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18. How does this show the utmost cruelty?
    Wow-I think I see something here that we often talk about on the blog-wanting God for what He can give us, and not wanting Him for HIM. WHILE Jesus was in agony, suffering for the very ones who cast lots for his clothing-they were blind not caring about Jesus-HOLY GOD and KING. They were acting as if he is just another ‘criminal’ being crucified, acting as if he is nothing but a worm.
     
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
    That God wouldn’t be far from Him and that He would be His strength and deliver him from His enemies.
     
    17. Read verses 22-31 and find two promises for which you are thankful.
    Because of His death and resurrection:
    He won’t hide his face from me but will listen to my cries for help.
    HE will restore everything in the future-He will bring justice to the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and everyone will bow down to Him. 
     
    18. Spend time in thankful for what He did and accomplished.
    Lord Jesus thank you that you were steadfast and that you never wavered but rested in your humble confidence in God. Thank you that you didn’t run but you went to the cross, that you endured shame, mocking, the utmost cruelty-and that you were willing to endure being forsaken by God-the worst thing that could ever happen to you..And you did this for us, for me..so that I could walk with you here and now but in full in the future. Thank you that you rose from the dead in victory! Victory over sin and death and that you are going to make all things new! Thank you that you will come and restore things with the new heaven and new Earth..Oh God to walk with you in Glory-in full, face to face, and I can ONLY because of You coming to rescue me and take on my sins. You were willing to go through hell for me-you were willing to be stripped of your clothing so I would be clothed in your righteousness..Forgive me Lord for forgetting yesterday-for being like those who cast lots not caring enough about you in that moment to not sin with my tongue for I did and I confess. You were willing to go through mocking and disapproval for me and you never forsook God, yet I am so afraid of disapproval from others that I can easily be tempted to join in with them. I am indeed weak. You became like a worm on the cross for a worm like me so that I could no longer be that but be clothed in your beauty. So I am yours clothed in your glory-help me not to turn from you today-be my strength today-break me and transform me into your image for I want my heart to delight in what yours does and I need your hands on my clay so much more!  In Your name alone, amen.

  44. 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.
     
     
    God is sovereign. He will always be present.
     
    Love these two songs:
     
    http://youtu.be/VXp6xcY5IqU
     
    http://youtu.be/J3-d_IrMm9A
     
     
     
     

  45. 6. Comments on Keller
     
    As I listened, I began to think we have listened to this before…this particular talk he gave was so rich and I really liked how he tied so much from the Old Testament – the Exodus, Jonah, Moses – to Jesus. Just reminded me how the whole  Bible is interwoven and meant to be a whole. A few things that stuck out to me were his explanation of how the natural default mode of the human heart is works righteousness; God has freed me from things I am still enslaved to; it is the change of status that makes you a Christian; the explanation of water representing chaos-how God was de-creating during the flood in Noah’s time; the example of when I refuse to forgive someone, I am unleashing chaos into the relationship; the comparison between Moses who was so identified with the Israelites that he also shared in their guilt yet so identified with God that God’s power worked through him and then Jesus, our Mediator. “See” the floodwaters go over Jesus’ head in your heart-thrown into the ocean of God’s wrath for you.

  46. 3. Read Psalm 17 and write down the truths about God that sustained them.
    ~We can call upon God and He will hear us. He will answer us. He will hear our prayers, He will listen when no one else will. (6)
    ~Your love is great, you save those who take refuge in you from their enemies.(7)
    ~We are the apple of your eye, you hide us in the shadow of your wings(8)
    ~God is our provider for He cherishes us, we have plenty and so do our children.(14)
    ~in righteousness we will see God’s face, we will be satisfied in His presence alone. Nothing can compare to God’s presence in our life.(15)
    4. Contrast the man of the world with the man of God in verses 14-15. Meditate and share your thoughts.
          ~It’s shocking what Depp found trust in “his children”, yet the lost world is full of false hope and trust. So many false hopes out there. Man is human and human to error. 14 states: “…whose reward is in this life” . So true, their hope is in this life, nothing more. Sadly in the end it leads to death(hell). I never really thought of that, ‘apart from God, people are already under judgement’, there is no hope for them without God.  Titus 1:15 says “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”  Kinder’s commentary on this psalm states ” To have everything but God is judgment enough- a theme made explicit by the utter contrast of verse 14.”
    I really love verse 15 “And I-in righteousness I will see your face: when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”  The commentary states some believe ‘when i awake’  is the resurrection( Isaiah 26:19;Daniel 12:2) and the  climax and answer to verse 7 “Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.” BEAUTIFUL!

  47. 7. Contemplate the first verse and find when Jesus spoke this. Why was He forsaken by God when He was on the cross?
     
    “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” The very first thing I notice is that in all of Jesus’ life when He talked to people about prayer, or when His prayers were recorded for us, He referred to God as His Father. But here Jesus calls out “My God”. Mark’s gospel in 15:34 records that Jesus cried out in a loud voice “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” So these words contain the clue as to why Jesus was forsaken on the Cross…suddenly, His relationship was no longer one of the Son to the Father but rather a guilty sinner being punished by God. Jesus was suffering the separation that the guilty, unpardoned sinner will experience when he dies in his sins.
     
    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.
     
    “Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One; You are the praise of Israel.” Verses 1 and 2 are cries of lament, then verse 3 begins with “Yet…” so I see the little turn here as we have seen in other psalms…turning once again to the God who never changes; thinking about His character. Seeing God as enthroned as the Holy One is submitting to His will…also I see hope here that God knows what He is doing. God can be our praise even when we are in pain.
     
    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?
     
    The word “trust” is used 3 times in these verses…it’s remembering the past and His faithfulness. It could be reminiscent of the Israelites crying out as the Egyptian army pursued them…they were delivered and saved. My sister was saved in her 50’s. I can remember her telling me on the phone that while at church, she felt like the pastor was speaking directly to her and she got up and went forward. In her church, they will baptize you “on the spot” and she wanted to be baptized right then and there.
     
    10. How do you see Christ in verses 5-8?
     
    Verse 5, “They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.”  A person can cry out to Jesus, the only Name under heaven by which a man can be saved, and put their trust in Him. They will be saved and will not be disappointed.
     
    Verse 6, “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.” You can’t get any lower than a worm crawling in the dirt. That’s how Jesus was treated. During His Passion and death, He was scorned and openly despised.
     
    Verse 7, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads…” – Jesus was mocked at every turn; by the soldiers who put a purple robe on him and a crown of thorns…they blindfolded him and asked him if he could guess who hit him…they spit on him…the mocking and abuse continued while He was on the Cross.
     
    Verse 8, “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” Matthew 27:43 says “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if He wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” The people used Jesus’ words against Him to taunt Him.
     
    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?
     
    These verses seem to speak of His Incarnation…”Yet You brought me out of the womb” and “From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.” Jesus was in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit and became a man. As Jesus grew, He grew in the knowledge of God as His Father; like when He stayed behind at the Temple and when asked by Mary and Joseph why he had done this, He replied that He had to be in His Father’s house. Luke records that His final words were “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” He began with His Father and ended with His Father.
     
    12. What scene and emotions are depicted in verses 12-13?
     
    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. As He carried His Cross to the hill, I imagine many along the way also hurled insults at Him and were egging-on the soldiers.
     
    13. What words from the Cross come to mind on the basis of verses 14-15?
     
    “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.” John 19:28 says that Jesus said from the cross, “I am thirsty”.  He would have been dehydrated and the position of His body on the Cross would have put His bones out of joint.
    “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.
    V. 15 again speaks of the physical suffering-the dehydration, “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth” and having no strength left. Knowing that this is the end of your life…”You lay me in the dust of death”.
     
     
     
     
     

  48. 14. Challenge question: Why do you think he said he could count all his bones in verse 17?
     
    I am thinking it was the position of His body on the Cross – being so stretched out and held in that position it would make your ribs stand out. Being so dehydrated also…a person can lose up to 10% of their body weight very quickly when they are dehydrated, so His bones would have shown. My son once was so ill with vomiting and diarrhea that I took him to the ER. He had just had a physical the week before and been weighed. I made them weigh him twice at the ER because he weighed 10 pounds less than he had the week before. When they gave him IV fluids, it’s like he expanded again.
     
    15. What scene is depicted in verse 18? How does this show the utmost cruelty?
     
    I just heard this in a sermon recently that it was Jewish tradition for a mother to weave her son a seamless garment. The gospels record that they took Jesus’ clothing and cast lots to divide his clothing. So they made a game out of seeing who would get what. It also means that they stripped Him naked when they crucified Him. It was the ultimate way of shaming the person in front of their family and onlookers. I can also imagine how I would feel as the mother watching my son’s clothes being taken by his killers.
     
    16. What are His prayers in 19-21?
     
    He prays that God be not far off…He calls God His Strength, and asks Him to come quickly and help Him. I like how he calls his life “precious” in verse 20. The precious life of Jesus…not to be given over to “the dogs…the mouth of the lions…” All these animal images seem to be metaphors for death, but death would not have power over Him.