March 31, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Direction – Looks
Calvary is the great observatory from which we gain a fresh vantage point of the dimensions of the expanse of the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most importantly, we are allowed to see as He saw on that day. The Psalm begins with:
Look up and He is Forsaken. His deepest grief and sorrow, and that which led to the putting away of sin, was the forsaking He knew at the hands of God. “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” More important, by far, than the forsaking He knew at the hands of His family, friends, and followers, was the abandonment of which verse 1 tells us. If it were not corroborated by the accounts of Matthew and Mark, we would be hesitant to apply it to Christ. That He should look up and experience an interruption in the conscious enjoyment of a fellowship He had known eternally would be inconceivable to us, apart from revelation.
But then there was a Look down – Foes abounding. Around the cross was no shortage of enemies. Elsewhere we are told that they were “many” and that they were “mighty” (Ps 69:4). The dogs salivating at the sight of their prey, the lion roaring over his captive, the bulls pressing and crushing, and evil doers maliciously gloating over their assumed victory – all surrounded the cross.
Then the Lord Jesus took a Look Back – Faithfulness, a look at the faithfulness of God. In verse 4, He details God’s faithfulness to the fathers. Whether we think of Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, David, or others of the prophets, God had always been faithful to those who had trusted Him. As well, He looked back at a God Who had been faithful to Him since His coming into the world. “Thou art He that took Me out of the womb . hope upon My mother’s breasts.” God had ever been the One in Whom He had trusted. God had been faithful all the days of His earthly sojourn.
Look In at the Fierce wrath: He was poured out like water; His bones were out of joint to the point that He felt pain coming from every joint in His body. He was able thus to count all His bones (v 17). His heart was like wax, perhaps referring to the intensity of His inward suffering. His thirst so intense that He likened Himself to a piece of pottery that had been through the oven. All of the imagery is in the physical but is meant to convey something of the spiritual to us.
A Look around showed the Ferocity of the Beasts with their hatred, hostility and rage. Unrelenting and unsparing in their attack, their one goal was to seize the prey and destroy Him.
But thankfully there was a Look Ahead to Future glory. Verses 22-31 afford a view of coming glory for the “afflicted One” of Psalm 22. There was the
Expectation of resurrection v 22
Expressions of praise He will render vv 23-26
Extent of His realm and reign vv 27-29
Extolling of righteousness vv 30-31
Think of what Calvary revealed about man, about Satan, about God, and about Christ. Is this the interpretation of Luke 2:35: “the thoughts of many hearts revealed”?