Passover Perspectives Exodus 12: The Protection of the Father in the Midst of the Cross

#345  Passover Perspectives  Exodus 12:  The Protection of the Father in the Midst of the Cross

Not a bone broken   Exodus 12:46  “It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house.  Do not break any of the bones.”

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

He keeps all his bones;  Not one of them is broken.”  Psalm 34:19-20

The Father exercised His all powerful and wise deliverance in the life of His Son.  Every challenge was met with the Father’s overruling.  John 5:30  Many were the afflictions of Christ, and yet God exhibited His power to limit these afflictions when He ordained that the Passover lamb would not have any bones broken.  The custom of the day was not allowed to be carried out in the case of Christ. John 19:31-36

This is an assurance to us.  We also will experience many afflictions.  But our challenges are limited by the wisdom of a loving Father.  No evil power or scheme will have the power to be break the hope and strength of His people.

Psalm 22 begins with the words from the cross “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and ends with the final word from the cross “It is finished.”  This suggests that Psalm 22 was a focus of Jesus thoughts when he was on the cross.

Again the Father supplied specific prophecy and assurance for Jesus, an anchor of light in his darkest hour through this Psalm, written thousands of years before the crucifixion of Christ.

 


 

Please accept this dramatic rendition of Jesus last hours on earth as an attempt to make his loving sacrifice more of a reality. Some parts of Psalm 22 are paraphrased.

Crucified

“The evening of overwhelming emotion, the night of sleepless anxiety and suffering, the three trials and three sentences of death he received before the Jewish officials, the endless scene before Pilate, then Herod, the mockings and the beatings, then the final verdict of the people and the final scourging had totally sapped Jesus of his physical strength.”  (Life of Christ by Fenton Ferrar, pg 634)

Jesus was utterly exhausted as he staggered beneath the weight of sin’s cruelty that had been placed on his shoulders.  The greatest weight had been placed on his heart.  The people who pushed by him and stared and hurled insults at him were his people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  He recognized many faces.  Many he had healed, many had followed him, many had hailed him a king just a short time ago when he had entered Jerusalem on the donkey’s colt.  Many more made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in order to observe the Holy Passover.  He sensed the oppressive darkness in their lives, a separation from God that made them blind. He sensed the fear and the engulfing confusion of those who had seen his miracles and believed him to be the Messiah.  He read their nobility and he read their depravity.  ‘For this cause I came into the world, to open the eyes of the blind,’ he uttered in prayer to his Father.

Jesus was stripped of his clothing and nailed to the cross.  The cross was slowly raised to its height and then dropped into a deep hole in the ground, in full reach of any of the gaping onlookers who may choose to strike him or inflict on him some other gesture of insult.  (Life of Christ by Fenton Ferrar, pg 640)

For six hours Jesus experienced excruciating pain, dizziness, cramping, and a raging thirst.  (Life of Christ, pg 641)

The Jewish officials were smug in their victory until they noticed the wooden sign that had been nailed to the top-most portion of Jesus cross.  An inscription was smeared in black letters, in three languages, and it read:  “The King of the Jews.”  Enraged, they sent their chief priests to beg Pilate to change the inscription to read “HE SAYS he is the King of the Jew,” but the Governor refused.  And so the truth was openly victorious, even on the cross.   Colossians 2:15

Suddenly the noonday sun turned to darkness.  The crowd was filled with fear and misgiving.  Jesus uttered the first verse of Psalm 22 in prayer to his Father.  His words were audible and tortured.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

His mind labored to focus beyond the pain in order to silently speak the Holy Word.  He recalled the Psalm in a monotone of thought, the words rising and falling and melting into one another in quick succession as he struggled to breathe in and out.  He prayed the remaining verses inaudibly, his lips barely moving.

‘O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer…

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; You are the praise of Israel.

In You our fathers put their trust; They trusted and You delivered them…

But I am considered a worm, helpless, yet the blood of deliverance is in me,

Scorned by men and despised by the people…

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help…

I am poured out like water and all of my bones are out of joint…

And my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth…’

“I thirst,” Jesus cried out.  A man took a sponge and dipped it in some wine, and using a stick of hyssop as an extension, he held the sponge up to Jesus parched lips.   (Life of Christ by Fenton Ferrar, pg 650)

Jesus continued to pray the Psalm with great effort.

“…They pierced my hands and my feet…they divided my garments

and cast lots for my clothing…

O my Strength, come quickly to help me…

I will declare your name to my brothers;

In the congregation I will praise you…

Praise Him, all you descendants of Israel.

For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;

He has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help…

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations will bow down before him,

For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations….

“Father,” he cried out with all the strength that was left in his body, “into your hands I commend my spirit.”  He willed his thoughts to continued to follow the Psalm.  The words he uttered built up to a crescendo speed, spilling over one another as his hard breathing quickened with the determination to finish the Psalm.

‘All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—

those who cannot keep themselves alive.

In the future everyone will serve him;

Future generations will be told about the Lord.

They will proclaim his righteousness

To a people who do not yet have real life.

For he has finished it.’

“It is finished!” he shouted.

The earth shuddered and twisted in rage, rending the rocks and tearing the thick veil of the Temple in two.

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