Sermon No: 154523-The crux of the matter - Part 3



SERMON TOPIC: The crux of the matter - Part 3

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 May 2022

Topic Groups: CRUCIFIXION, EASTER, SALVATION

Sermon synopsis: A number of psalms foretell the person and work of Jesus. They are called Messianic psalms i.e., while written by David they have a secondary application to the Messiah (Christ) who was the “Son of David”.
Psalm 22 foretells the Crucifixion of the Messiah.

THE CRUX OF THE MATTER – PART 3

ROMAN CRUCIFIXION

Crucifixion (literally “fixed to a cross”) is often said to have originated in Persia. While the Persians used a stake, the Romans created the practice as we think of it today, using an upright post and a crossbar.

Crucifixion was both a shameful and a torturous, agonizing death –whereby the person hung on the cross until they slowly died of dehydration, asphyxiation, infection, or other causes.

Because of the long, drawn-out suffering, it was regarded by the Romans as the supreme penalty.

Latin was the language of the Romans. The Latin word for cross is CRUX.

These English words are derived from the Latin word crux.

CRUCIAL (of vital importance)

CRUX (the basic, central, or critical point or feature)

EXCRUCIATING (intensely painful)

3 IMPUTATIONS

1) Adam’s sin to man

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die

2) Man’s sin to Christ

2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us

3) Christ’s righteousness to man

… so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

Our claim before God is this: “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ” (Phil 3:9).

Christ fulfilled all righteousness perfectly; and then that righteousness was reckoned to be mine, when I trusted in Him. Christ’s death became the basis for our pardon and our perfection. *

* Ibid.

3 BLESSINGS OF GRACE

All 3 blessings of grace were procured by the atoning death of Christ and the virtues of that death are imparted to man by the Holy Spirit.

JUSTIFICATION: Not just forgiven – declared “not guilty”.

REGENERATION: Born again – new life in Christ

SANCTIFICATION: Becoming Christ-like. The moral change we undergo when we trust Jesus – the process of becoming good.

THE LATIN CROSS

While the early Church fathers refer to the cross having an upright post and a crossbar, Irenaeus (c. 120- c. 200) * and Tertullian ** (c. 155 – c. 240) explicitly describe the “plus” shaped cross.

* … the very form of the cross, too, has five extremities, two in length, two in breadth, and one in the middle… (Against Heresies, II, xxiv, 4) ** … the very structure of our body suggests the essential and primal outline of a cross. The head ascends to the peak, the spine stands upright, the shoulders traverse the spine. If you position a man with his arms outstretched, you shall have created the image of a cross. (Ad nationes, book I, chapter XX)

THE SIGN

A placard (called the titulus) bearing the name of the condemned man and his sentence, was placed at the top of the cross. *

John 19:19-20 (NKJV) Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

* Euseb., “Hist. Eccl.”, V, 1; Suet., “Caligula”, xxxviii and “Domit.”, x;) https:// catholic.com/ encyclopedia/ cross-and-crucifix-the

THE LATIN CROSS

Matthew notes that the sign was ABOVE Jesus’ head:

Matt 27:37 (NIV) Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

This makes it likely that the cross was indeed a Latin cross (plus shape) as is traditionally held.

MESSIANIC PSALMS

A number of psalms foretell the person and work of Jesus. They are called Messianic psalms i.e., while written by David they have a secondary application to the Messiah (Christ) who was the “Son of David”.

The following are Messianic psalms:

Psalm 2: The Official Glory of the Eternal Son

Psalm 89: The Davidic Covenant

Psalm 102: The Unchangeable One

Psalm 118: The Headstone of the Corner

Psalm 8: The Last Adam

Psalm 23: The Messiah’s coming work

Psalm 24: The King of Glory

Psalm 72: The Millennial Reign

Psalm 110: The Priest-King-Judge

Psalm 45: The King-Bridegroom

Psalm 40: The Incarnation

Psalm 91: The Temptation

Psalm 16: The Resurrection

Psalm 68: The Ascension

Psalm 69: The Trespass Offering

Psalm 41: The Betrayal

Psalm 22: foretells the Crucifixion. Jesus was nailed to the cross (Acts 2:23).

Psalm 22:16 (NIV) Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

NAILING

Psalm 22 was written about 1000 years before Christ was born. At that time execution by nailing the hands and feet didn’t exist. Actually, crucifixion was the only form of execution that pierced the hands and feet. Yet this type of crucifixion didn’t come about until about 350 BC.

But Psalm 22 prophesied that the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced 650 years before the practice of this style of execution.

PSALM 22:16

A direct translation of the Masoretic can be found in the Jewish Publication Society's (JPS) Tanakh where the key phrase is rendered “like a lion”.

Psalm 22:16 (JPS) - For dogs have encompassed me; A company of evil-doers have enclosed me; Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet.

The rendering of “pierced” is supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls, LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Vulgate and even some Masoretic manuscripts. Only some Masoretic manuscripts have “lion”.

PSALM 22:16

The Hebrew words for “pierced” and “lion” are almost identical. The difference was whether the original word ended with a vav or a yod. All that separates the two words is the length of an upright vowel stroke. So it is possible that in the copying process over many years the letter Vav was mistaken for a Yod.

But why does the JPS opt to retain the minority rendering? Is the choice a result of anti-Christian bias because of the clear allusion to Christ’s crucifixion?

FLOGGING

Ps 22:17 (NIV) I can count all my bones …

Pilate “had Jesus flogged” (Matt 27:26, NIV).

Scourging was an extreme form of punishment. The skin on the victim’s back was usually shredded, thus exposing the underlying muscle and skeletal structures. *

* Dr. Mark Eastman http:// khouse.org/ articles/ 1998/ 113/

BONES OUT OF JOINT

Psalm 22:14 (NIV) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint…

Why would Jesus’ bones “be out of joint”?

With crucifixion: “As the strength of the legs gives out, the weight of the body must now be borne by the arms and shoulders. The result is that within a few minutes of being placed on the cross, the shoulders will become dislocated. Minutes later the elbows and wrists become dislocated.” *

* Dr Mark Eastman http:// khouse.org/ articles/ 1998/ 113

THIRST

Psalm 22:15 (NIV) … my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth ....

One of the effects of crucifixion was severe dehydration and thirst because of the loss of body fluids through perspiration and open wounds. That’s why Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’”

Psalm 69:21 (NKJV) They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Jesus was offered something to drink twice. The first time he refused it, (Matt 27:34, Mark 15:23) the second time he took it. (Matt 27:48, Mark 15:36, John 19:29-30 )

Matt 27:34 (NKJV) they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

Posca was an Ancient Roman drink made by mixing wine vinegar and water. … it was typically a drink for soldiers, the lower classes, and slaves. *

So by offering Jesus sour wine and vinegar (gall) was it a merciful gesture or mockery?

* https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Posca

The drink offered to Jesus was a cheap Roman vinegar wine, which had a drug mixed in to dull the senses. It was the custom of the Romans to offer a man being crucified drugged wine so that he might more easily endure his cross. Jesus refused the wine, however, apparently so that He could go through his suffering with a clear mind. *

But as he neared death he took it, being aware of his need to fulfill Scripture:

John19:28 (NKJV) After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

* https:// housetohouse.com/ jesus-first-refuse-drink-vinegar-offered-cross/

John 19:29-30 (NIV) A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” …

People who were crucified would push themselves up with their legs to prevent suffocation. (This is why their legs were broken to hasten death.) However, if the person fell unconscious, they would die in around 20 minutes from the accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

This is one of the “death” blows for the Swoon Theory. If Jesus had only swooned on the cross – he would have been dead in 20 minutes.

Death “could be hastened by shattering the legs (crurifragium) with an iron club, which prevented them from supporting the body’s weight and made inhalation more difficult, accelerating both asphyxiation and shock.” **

This custom … was common with the Jews. In this way it was possible to take down the corpse on the very evening of the execution. *

* (Tert., “Adv. Jud.”, x; Isid., V, xxvii; Lactant., IV, xvi) https:// catholic.com/ encyclopedia/ cross-and-crucifix-the ** https:// britannica.com/ topic/ crucifixion-capital-punishment

John 19:32 (NIV) The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.

The soldiers on duty at the cross certified Jesus as dead, and as such did not break his legs:

John 19:33 (NIV) But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

LEGS BROKEN

John 19:36 (NIV) These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”

Psalm 34:20 says of the righteous person that God “protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (NIV)

The Israelites were instructed regarding the Passover lamb “Do not break any of the bones.” (Ex 12:46, NIV)

John 19:34 (NIV) Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Apparently to make sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. 

HEART FAILURE

Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the interior of the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium. *

Psalm 22:14 (NIV) … My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.

* “The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View” by C. Truman Davis, M.D., M.S. Mesa, Arizona

PIERCED

John 19:37 (NIV) and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The Scripture John references will be fulfilled at the Second Advent.

Zech 12:9-10 (NIV) On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

PSALM 22:20

In the same Messianic Psalm verse 20 in the Masoretic reads:

Ps 22:20 (NKJV) Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog.

But the Septuagint (LXX) renders it:

Ps 22:20 (Brenton LXX Translation) Deliver my soul from the sword; my only-begotten [monogenés] one from the power of the dog.

PSALM 22:20

Now where have we heard that term before? It is used of Jesus in the New Testament.

John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten [monogenés] Son …

Contrary to popular opinion, John didn’t use a brand-new word here – he was using the LXX and applying the Messianic term “monogenés” from Psalm 22:20 to Christ.

FORSAKEN BY GOD

Psalm 22 was quoted in part by Jesus on the cross who applied it to himself.

Matt 27:46 (NKJV) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Jesus always addressed as ‘God’ as Father during his ministry – or even before that (Luke 2:49). He only referred to “God” when speaking to others about God.

But on the cross he “was made to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21) when he “bore our sins in His body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24). At that point the Father turns his face away because his “eyes are too pure to look on evil; He cannot tolerate wrong.” (Hab 1:13)

Isaiah 53:4 (NKJV) … Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

The portion of the psalm quoted on the cross continues as follows – indicating the prophesied forsaking of Jesus as he bore the sins of the world:

Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

Spurgeon said regarding this: “His one moan is concerning his God. It is not, ‘Why has Peter forsaken me? Why has Judas betrayed me?’ These were sharp griefs, but this is the sharpest. This stroke has cut him to the quick.”

“Social abandonment was horrible but came from outside. Emotional desertion was painful but only inside Jesus. [...] Something was torn in the very fabric of the relationship between Father and Son.” This is real anguish; what believers have been saved from by Jesus. *

* https:// christianity.com/ wiki/ jesus-christ/ why-did-jesus-have-to-suffer-so-badly.html

Jesus was forsaken on our behalf. The heaviest blow, however, is the one that believers will never face. When Jesus cried “why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), the Father had turned away.

On the cross Jesus initially addresses God as “Father” (“Father, forgive them…”)

Now when he takes the sins of the world, he is cut off from and forsaken by the Father, he calls him “My God”.

Later before he dies, he again addresses God as “Father”. (“Father, into your hands …”)

MOCKED

Psalm 22:7-8 (NIV) All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Jesus was also mocked.

Matt 27:41-43 (NIV) In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “… He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

TOLA AT

Psalm 22:6 (NKJV) But I am a worm [tola'at] …

The Hebrew word “tola” refers to normal worms and even maggots.

E.g., “Tola at” describes the worm God used to destroy Jonah's shade (Jonah 4:7).

The same word is used of maggots in the stale manna (Ex 16:20).

It is also used of maggots of the type that devour corpses (Isa 14:11, 66:24).

“Tola at” is figuratively used as a symbol of one who is insignificant:

Isaiah 41:14 (NKJV) “Fear not, you worm [tola'at] Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,” says the LORD And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Job 25:4-6 (NKJV) How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? … How much less man, who is a maggot [rimmah], And a son of man, who is a worm? [tola'at]

JESUS WAS DESPISED

The Messianic Psalm 22 predicts that Jesus (the Son of David) would be regarded as a worm (i.e., despised).

Psalm 22:6 (NKJV) But I am a worm [tola'at], and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

Isa 53:3 (ESV) He was despised and rejected by men … and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

SCARLET

There is a secondary application of the passage. The word “tola” has additional connotations.

“Tola” means worm in some contexts but most OT uses refer to a colour - scarlet or crimson.

THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

(tôlā), tôle â, tôla’at. … All three forms of this word mean “worm, maggot, larva”; two of them tôlā and tôla'at) also mean “scarlet, crimson.”

CRIMSON

E.g., in Isaiah 1:18 it is translated “crimson” and used as a figurative description of our sin.

Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV) “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson [tola], They shall be as wool.

So in Isaiah 1:18 “tola” describes our sin, while in Psalm 22:6 it refers to the Sin Bearer, Jesus.

SCARLET

Brown–Driver–Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament

(tôlā): noun [masculine] worm, scarlet stuff (dyed with the coccus ilicis…);

THE SCARLET WORM (COCCUS ILICIS)

THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

In ancient times a brilliant scarlet or crimson dye was obtained from the female bodies of the kermes … insect, Coccus ilicis, which lives on the kermes oak … native to the Middle East…

Christian apologist, and engineer, Henry Morris, wrote:

When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding His precious blood that He might "bring many sons unto glory" (Heb. 2:9) *

* pg. 73, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", 1985, Baker Book House

THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

“In ancient times a brilliant scarlet or crimson dye was obtained from the female bodies of the kermes … insect, Coccus ilicis … The dye was highly prized (Lam 4:5) and as such was employed to colour cloth used in the tabernacle and by those who worshiped there; tôla'at is attested twenty-six times in Exodus with the meaning “scarlet (stuff).”

PRIESTLY ASSOCIATIONS

“Tola” is used as one of the colours in the “ephod” which was worn by the high priest.

Ex 28:6 “Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet [tola’at] yarn, and of finely twisted linen—the work of skilled hands

In the New Covenant, Jesus became our “merciful and faithful high priest” (Heb 2:17).

PRIESTLY ASSOCIATIONS

In Leviticus 14 “tola” describes the scarlet string used in the purification ceremony for leprosy.

In Numbers 19:6 it is used in the red heifer purification ceremony (a type and shadow of the atonement of Christ).

Thus the same “tola” which portrays the despised Messiah (a worm) in Psalm 22:6 is used in 33 other Old Testament passages referring to the blood-red scarlet material which foreshadowed the blood of Christ which accomplished the redemptive work on the cross.

THE VEIL

Most of the uses of tola are in Exodus where scarlet was one of the three dies (blue, purple and scarlet) used to adorn the “ten curtains” of the Tabernacle (Ex 26:1), “the screen for the (one) doorway of the” Tabernacle (Ex 26:36 … the Veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies (Ex 26:31…*

* Ibid.

THE TORN VEIL

When Jesus died, this thick curtain which separated all mankind from the presence of the holy God, was torn.

Matt 27:50-51 (NIV) And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Who tore this massive curtain? God did – Matthew records that it was torn “from top to bottom”. At a height of 18 metres no man could have done that. Also it was far too thick for a man to tear (multi-threaded material the width of a man’s hand). God was showing that the way into the Holy of Holies was now opened.

Our relationship with God was broken by sin which led to Adam and Eve being driven from God’s presence. Jesus restored this relationship.

Rom 5:10 (NIV) For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…

The tearing of the curtain was symbolic of the “tearing” of Jesus’ body on the cross which opened the way into God’s presence.

Heb 10:19-22 (NIV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience …

Unlike the Old Covenant all people now have free access into the Father’s presence.

We have “confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19, NIV) because our sins which alienated us from a righteous God have been removed.

Our covenant has “a new and living way” which allows us to “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:19-22, NIV).

SO GOD IS IN EFFECT SAYING, “THE DOOR IS NOW OPEN. COME ON IN AND MEET ME.”

What is the ultimate good in the Good News? God Himself. Salvation is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God. Forgiveness is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God. Justification is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God but doesn’t bring fellowship with God. *

What is the ultimate good in the Good News? God Himself. Salvation is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God. Forgiveness is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God. Justification is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God but doesn’t bring fellowship with God. *

This is the primary reason Christ died on the cross.

1 Pet 3:18 (ESV) Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.

* https:// billygraham.org/ story/ 7-reasons-christ-suffered-and-died/

RESTORED RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

The suffering and death of Christ guarantee that God will give us all things that we need to do His will and to give Him glory and to attain everlasting joy. *

The suffering and death of Christ guarantee that God will give us all things that we need to do His will and to give Him glory and to attain everlasting joy. *

Romans 8:32 (ESV) He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

* Ibid.

To obtain for us all things that are good

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all…

To obtain for us all things that are good

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all…

… how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

The connection between the two halves is meant to make the second half absolutely certain. If God did the hardest thing of all–namely, give up His own Son to suffering and death–then it is certain that He will do the comparatively easy thing, namely, give us all things with Him. … God will meet every real need, including the ability to rejoice in suffering when many felt needs do not get met. *

* Ibid.

The opposite of eternal life is not annihilation. It is hell. Jesus spoke of it more than anybody, and He made plain that rejecting the eternal life He offered would result not in obliteration, but in the misery of God’s wrath. *

WE DESERVE ETERNAL DAMNATION

The opposite of eternal life is not annihilation. It is hell. Jesus spoke of it more than anybody, and He made plain that rejecting the eternal life He offered would result not in obliteration, but in the misery of God’s wrath. *

John 3:36 (ESV)“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him”

And it remains forever.

Matt 25:46 (ESV) “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”

* Ibid.

The longing of the human heart is to live and to be happy. God made us that way. “He has put eternity into man’s heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). *

We are created in God’s image, and God loves life and lives forever. We were made to live forever. And we will. *

For this Christ suffered and died. Why would we not embrace Him as our treasure, and live? *

* Ibid.

TO GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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