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Tonight we're gonna be looking at Psalm chapter 22 in Psalm 22 addresses some incredibly important questions and I think just by our very instincts we know that not all questions are equally important in fact most questions that we hear on a day-to-day basis really are not all that significant some questions are very significant but most are far less significant and I want to begin tonight by just showing you a few questions I came across this week as I was listening to the radio at coffee shops and restaurants and at stores just to get your mind going but I heard this question about 50 times this week by Justin Bieber where he says is it too late to say sorry the next question by the killers is are we human or are we dancers I'm sure we've all wondered about this before cher said do you believe in life after love Michael Bolton and his mullet asked how can we be lovers if we can't be friends how can we start over if the fighting never ends that songs been in my head all week now but Pocahontas asked have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon and the Baha men are wondering who let the dogs out which is and I could give you another 50 but I think it's obvious that not all questions are equally important these are some relatively insignificant questions but at the same time there are some incredibly important questions questions that how you answer them how you truly answer some of these questions the Bible is right will impact where you spend eternity now impact every aspect of your life and Psalm 22 is going to answer some very important questions tonight which are worthy of much consideration and so what's the question well let's look at Psalm chapter 22 verse 1 this is what it says my God my God why have you abandoned me why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning and so Psalm 22 begins with the cry for help which is as not uncommon in the Psalms many of the Psalms begin with the cry for help but what is unique about Psalm 22 is that Psalm 22 is the Old Testament foundation for the death of Jesus on the cross David writes this Psalm three thousand years ago which means it was written 1,000 years before Jesus had lived on planet Earth and it describes the cross perfectly and when you read the four Gospel accounts you see that the Gospel writers are pointing us back to Psalm 22 in that Psalm 22 is pointing us ahead to the good news of the gospel we see one example of this in Matthew 27 and says about 3:00 in the afternoon Jesus cried with a loud voice Eloi Eloi Lema sabachthani that is my God my God why have you abandoned me and he's actually quoting Psalm 22 verse 1 he's saying you need to know what Psalm 22 verse 1 says because it's fulfilled in me and so here is the question we're gonna be looking at tonight just as we get started think about how you would answer this question from Psalm chapter 22 why was Jesus abandoned it's pretty clear in the scriptures that Jesus was abandoned at the cross the father did not permanently abandon the son but at the cross the father rejected his son he turned away from his son and I've been thinking all week what would it take for a father to turn away from his son I'm if you're a dad that is a profound question what would it take for you to turn away from your son to abandon your son it's like when your child is in need if you're a dad or a mom there's something inside of you that turns on that says I need to help my child but what would possess God to look at his son and the time of greatest need and turn away from him this is the question that Psalm chapter 22 is going to answer tonight but in order to answer that question there are three important truths we need to see in Psalm 22 in Matthew chapter 27 here are the three truths here's the outline we need to understand the worm number two the cry of the worm and number three what the worm accomplished so we have the worm the cry of the worm and what the worm accomplished so let's start with number one the worm verse six says but I am a warm and not a man scorned by mankind and despised by people I believe this verse verse six is the key to understanding what's going on in Psalm chapter twenty-two at least the first half and this is a powerful illustration when you understand what David is saying David is saying I am a worm and he's pointing a head to Christ and he says I am a worm I am NOT a man so he's contrasting being treated like a human being versus being treated like a worm and it is powerful because worms are worms I mean just just think about that for a moment you know if you're driving down the street and someone steps out into the street you're going to do everything you can to swerve or slow down or stop to make sure you don't hit the person in the street or if someone's taking their dog for a walk dog gets off the leash they route the dog runs into the street you're gonna do everything you can to avoid hitting that dog or if a squirrel runs into the street most people are gonna swerve or stop or at least attempt to avoid hitting that squirrel now some of you are gonna speed up and swerve towards the squirrel you know who you are but most people are gonna at least calm down slow down try to avoid hitting the squirrel but I guarantee you no one here tonight has ever been driving on a rainy day and thought to yourself oh my goodness those poor worms that are on the street right now I hope we don't run them over you've never thought that you know what we do with worms we buy worms and then we put worms on hooks and then we plunge them into the water drowning those poor little worms and we use those worms to decieve fish that's that's what we do and we don't even think about it and even as I'm talking about these poor worms there's no sympathy rising up inside of you some of you are thinking let's go fishing right now you don't care at all about worms because they're worms and so when david says i am a worm and man this is an incredible statement about how Jesus was to be treated so how was Jesus treated he was treated like a worm and there are four ways he was treated like a worm that we see from Psalm 22 this is what it says in verse 11 don't be far from me be because distress is near and there's no one to help many bowls surround me strong ones of Bashan and circle me they open their mouths against me lions mauling and roaring so this section is quite remarkable because it's giving us a minute-by-minute breakdown of the cross leading up to the cross and including the cross and if we understand the breakdown these different verses then we can look at Matthew chapter 27 and see how they perfectly correlate then we'll see how rotten Jesus was really treat treated so here's the four ways Jesus was treated like a worm and out a man first is that he was surrounded by evil men who are doing much harm to him this is this is the clearer picture he is surrounded by evil men who are doing much harm to him verse 12 says many bulls surround me strong ones above Bashan and circle me they open their mouths against me lions mauling and roaring verse 16 says for dogs have surrounded me a gang of evil doers has closed in on me so I don't believe that David here is literally encircled by bulls and lions and dogs I don't think that's what's actually happening but rather David is paint painting a vivid picture of the terror his heart is experiencing I mean it's it's very clear when we read strong Bulls of Bashan we have no idea what that means but Bashan was a very fertile part of that territory in the world and because it was so fertile the grass was so green so much grass they had huge huge bowls huge bowls if you guys ever heard of Belgian Blue Bulls have you ever seen these before these are these are bowls that have been bread and bread and bread and bread and bread and bread to be gigantic so here's a picture of some of these bowls Belgian blue bowls they're pretty impressive look at that bodybuilders that's how they're made I mean look at this and so when when when David says I am encircled by Bulls of Bashan it's a good-looking piece of meat I think I think it's it but he's he's he's saying I am totally surrounded by Bulls of Bashan he's saying the biggest Bulls you can imagine they are angry and they're surrounding me but not only bulls but also lions um here's a picture of some lions not one lion but Lions this is the image this is what Lions do they encircle and they kill their prey so this is a picture of execution which is which is exactly what happened to Jesus verse 27 Matthew 27 27 says then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the governor's residence and gathered the whole company around him and so the picture is that the Roman soldiers they are the Bulls and the Lions and the dogs that have encircled Jesus they they have it they have come around him but not this is not an affirmation circle you know Jesus great beard that was awesome you how you trimmed your beard this is not what it is at all this is a circle of pain these are professional executioner's that are coming near to Jesus to bring incredible pain on his life so what do they do verse 28 they stripped him and dressed him in a scarlet robe they twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and placed his staff at his right hand and they knelt down before him and mocked him hail King of the Jews then they spat on him took the staff and kept hitting him on the head after they had mocked him they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him so it's it is just horrible what Jesus is going through they they're mocking him by putting a crown of thorns on his head and then they're spitting on him and smashing his head so that these thorns go into his scalp he would have been bleeding profusely he's treated like a worm number two there they were terrorizing him terrorizing him Psalm 22 not only describes what happens to Jesus physically but it happens it describes to what's happening on Jesus our to Jesus on the inside verses 14 and 15 say this I'm poured out like water and all my bones are disjointed my heart is like wax melting within me my strength is dried up like baked clay my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth you put me into the dust of death and so Jesus is surrounded by evil men he's outnumbered he's overpowered and they are slowly and deliberately torturing Jesus that is what is happening to him and while they're torturing him they're spitting on him and they're mocking him and they're laughing at him see if you were Jesus during this time how would you respond because they're not just gonna kill him it's not like a bang-bang car accident dead that's not what is going on here they're terrorizing him I was thinking this week would I rather be surrounded by literal bulls and lions and dogs that were trying to kill me or would I rather be surrounded by Roman soldiers who have a license to torment me which one would you pick give me the Lions give me the I would rather be surrounded by lions that want to eat me than soldiers with a license to torture me see for Jesus this is a real-life horror movie it's not quick but it's slow and Jesus is watching the torture unfold at a snail's pace right before his eyes step by step and he cannot do anything about it he can't if he's going to obey the father and submit himself to the will of the Father he can't call down angels and kill all of these people and so verses 14 and 15 is describing the psychological impact of the terror that Jesus experienced that his heart is not melting like wax within him so naturally he cries out but you Lord don't be far away my strength come quickly to help me rescue me rescue my life from the sword my only life from the power of these dogs but God is silent to him he's silent why well answer that in a second number three he's treated like a worm how the pain gets worse for sixteen four dogs have surrounded me a gang of evildoers has closed in on me they pierced my hands in my feet so remember this was written 1,000 years before Jesus lived when did crucifixion become a thing when did that come into being well it really didn't come into being until that six hundred years five to six hundred years after David wrote this Psalm and so when when David writes this Psalm there isn't this concept of death by crucifixion that death by piercing the hands and feet that wasn't a real thing and it wasn't until the Romans came into power that they perfected the art of crucifixion so this idea of having the hands and feet nailed or pierced is an incredible truth that points to the prophecy of God the accuracy of God's Word because this is exactly what happens to Jesus Matthew 27 31 after they mocked him they stripped him of the robe put up put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him and see crucifixion was designed to devastate you that's the whole point it was to uh turn out just to kill you there's a lot of ways to kill a person it was designed to devastate you to devastate your mind to devastate your body and when they pierced your hands it wasn't just all the pain of your hands what the Romans knew was that you have what's called the ulnar nerve that runs down through your arm and into your hand and this this nerve is your funny bone nerve if my biology is right it's when you bang your funny bone in a Hertz that's the nerve that runs all the way down your arm and in in your hand or in your wrist there's this little cavity and they would put the nail right in that cavity in order to inflict as much pain as possible I mean this was designed to devastate a person number four how was he treated like a worm he is dehumanized dehumanised psalm 22 says but i am a worm and not a man scorned by mankind and despised by people everyone who sees me mocks me they sneer and shake their heads he relies on the Lord let him safe and let the Lord rescue him since or if he takes pleasure in him there is relentless taunting which is what happens to Jesus Matthew 27 those who passed by were yelling insults at him shaking their heads and saying you who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days save yourself if you're the Son of God come down from the cross in the same way that she priests the scribes the elders mocked him and said he saved others but he cannot save himself he is the king of Israel let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him he trusts in God let God rescue him now if he takes pleasure in him for he said I am the son of God in the same way even the criminals who were crucified with him taunted him so everyone at this point is is taunting Jesus and mocking Jesus and this is Jesus on the cross and I thought to myself how much do you have to hate a person to taunt a person in their misery to mock a person in their misery how much do you have to hate him you know it's one thing if I taught you you know nice hair you dork you know I just don't moron it's one thing to taunt you I'm mad at you ok now let's pretend you are blown away by my my taunting and you fall down and you break your arm ok so now your arms broken and now I'm like yeah you're an idiot your hair is ugly you know or whatever whatever it is and it would be so out of place do you see why because his your arm is broken and that pain should produce in you in us sympathy where you say ok ok now is probably probably not the time just he he's writhing in pain don't call him an idiot let's see Jesus he's got thorns in his head his body is ripped open he's nailed to a tree he's bleeding to death and utter misery and everyone's mocking him that's the picture those who pass by the common people they're mocking him the religious elite chief priests scribes elders they're mocking Jesus and even those on the cross they're taunting him it is utterly dehumanizing I mean to treat a person that way the second and final dehumanizing act on the cross has to do with his clothing psalm 22 says for dogs have surrounded me a gang of evildoers has closed in on me they pierced my hands and my feet I can't I can count all my bones people look and stare at me they divide my clothes are my garments among themselves and they cast lots for my clothing which again this is exactly what happens to Jesus after crucifying in Matthew 27 they divided his clothes by casting Lots now why does why does Psalm chapter 22 point to the clothing of Jesus what is Psalm chapter 22 fine jesus's clothing so important that it predicts what's going to happen to jesus' clothing at his death and why does Matthew include this information because that's what happened well what happened was they divided clothes his clothes by casting Lots and I think the reason is this you need to consider the claim of Jesus what was his claim he claimed to be the king the Messiah he claimed to be the Son of God truly man and truly God yet he owned no property he had no wife he had no children he had no heir all of his disciples either abandoned to him betrayed him or denied him and his very people the Jewish people were mocking and taunting him while the Romans torture him and at the end of his life Jesus Christ had one possession and it was his clothing and in the most trivial way imaginable the Roman soldiers take his one possession and play rock paper scissors to see who gets it it just defies mercy to the highest degree it's like do you you haven't you don't even have one ounce of respect or dignity for human life as a person an innocent persons hanging on a cross you have absolutely no mercy towards this person whatsoever this is why I believe David says and Psalm 22 verse 6 I am a worm and not a man I have I've been given no human decency no dignity no honor no nothing I am a worm now why was he abandoned now this is a picture of Jesus being abandoned but why was he abandoned well we need to move on to the second major idea which is the cry of the worm Psalm 22:1 my God my God why have you abandoned me that this is the cry of David in Psalm 22 verse 1 but it's also the cry of Jesus on the cross he says from noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land then it goes on to say that Jesus cried out my God my God why have you forsaken me and when it says that Jesus cried out it means in the original language it means he screams this tones it down quite a bit but he's screaming my God my God why have you forsaken me now more than likely his enemies thought that Jesus was caving in Jesus had finally broke the pain and agony has finally gotten to him Jesus has lost his nerve he's lost his composure I mean think about Jesus up into this point up into the to this point he's been totally cool calm and collected on the outside at any point if it was his will and the will of the Father he could he could have turned against everyone and killed everyone at doing whatever he wanted to get away but the whole time he knew no one is taking my life from me but I am freely laying it down so he's been cool calm and collected throughout the trial even though his heart is melting through the torture through the agony of the Cross and finally he screams and he cries out to God why have you forsaken me now has Jesus given up on the Lord on his god no there are two things happening first Jesus is experiencing excruciating pain I believe this was probably the height of Jesus's physical pain at this point he has suffered for hours and hours and hours and hours and each breath that he takes the weight of his body is on those nails so every time he has to take a breath he has to push up pull up with his with the wounds and his hands and his feet it's just moment by moment by moment by moment excruciating pain but I believe something else far greater and far more painful was happening at this time and this is what it is it's that Jesus was experiencing the wrath of God more than just the physical suffering Jesus was experiencing the wrath of God which means something truly radical was happening within the Trinity think about this for all of eternity father son Holy Spirit has existed they've existed in perfect union unity and harmony where there's been perfect love perfect honouring of one another the relationship has been perfect forever and then Jesus becomes a man the god man and he lives a sinless life a perfect life where he had many trials throughout his 33 years many trials and every time he had a trial God was there with him the Spirit of God was there with him there are times when the heavens opened up and the father says to the son this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased this is my son listen to him this is the guy that you must trust do whatever he says so Jesus as a man had experienced the comfort and love of his father but now when Jesus needed the love and comfort of his father it wasn't there to be experienced in fact the father had turned away from the son the father had abandoned the son not permanently but at the cross and so instead of Jesus experiencing the comfort of God the love of God what he was experiencing was rejection by God Jesus was experiencing the wrath of God the unmixed wrath of God I mean do you know that God hates sin do you believe that that when God looks at what sin does in the world do you believe that God hates sin do you believe that God hates pedophilia do you believe that God hates racism do you believe that God hates murder and pride and lying do you believe that the answer is yes he hates it now where was all of his hatred aimed it was aimed at his own son so what Jesus is experiencing is the wrath the unmixed wrath of God on the cross on the cross and see rejection is crushing to the soul we are we are relational creatures that's who we are we've been created in the image of God we are relational creatures and so rejection is so traumatizing to us do you remember the first time you were rejected by someone you know I remember when I was in eighth grade I went to Meredith middle school and up into that point I was home-schooled and so eighth grade was my first year in public school and I remember trying to get to know my classmates and getting to know some of the guys I was playing basketball with and so I was getting to know him and I remember there was this very pretty girl who was in some of my classes or I was in her classes or whatever and I remember all the guys would talk about her this just say her name was Sarah okay so Sarah is very pretty very popular and all the guys would talk about her and Sarah had a friend that just called her Sally okay so Sally and Sarah and I remember one time I was sitting with these guys that I knew and Sally walks up to our table and she looks right at me and she says hey Dan Sarah has a crush on you and she wants to be your girlfriend and so I was a little bit surprised that by that I wasn't even really thinking about that but I remember what happened was all the guys around the table they're like yes this is awesome it's time to celebrate so they're celebrating you just won the lottery and obviously you need are dating her now and so here's Sally looking at me like what are you gonna say and all these guys are like you know pumping their fists and so I said yeah okay and then more celebration happened everyone was happy but I remember thinking I'm up I'm a homeschooler I don't know what it means to have a girlfriend I mean what in the world like what do you do what is a girlfriend and so I remember all huh all that day the rest of that day I just avoided her like I can't be around like I don't know and then I went home and she called me that night and my parents were like hey Dan sara is calling for you and I was like I'm doing homework or I'm dead or something I'm like I don't know but like not now and so and so the next day I have waited her in the next day I avoided her and the next day I avoided her like the plague and then I remember one day she cornered me and she says Dan it feels like you're avoiding me this isn't working and she says I'm breaking up with you and it was utterly crushing for me you know for like 15 seconds so you know I've been then I had a slice of pizza then life went back to normal but I remember that was the first time I had ever felt this experience are you ready for it here it is I accept you life's going on I accept you but now I reject you yura felt that I like you you're special but not anymore and what happens is you start to say wow that feels kind of interesting and my gut is that if we could do an x-ray on your heart there'd be a lot of marks marks on it and those marks would be times when you felt significant rejection either from a sibling or a friend or a girlfriend or a boyfriend when he find out oh she's cheating on me he's cheating on me that does something to your soul maybe it was a parent mom or dad or maybe even a child maybe you have a child and you have felt real rejection or worst of all maybe it's a spouse when you have felt real rejection from your spouse your spouse leaves you what it does to you because you're created in the image of God is it just it devastates the human heart and what I've been thinking about all week is this is that Jesus on the cross at the time of his greatest need as a man is rejected by everybody I mean virt virtually everyone his disciples left him Judas betrayed him Peter denied him his people that he created the Romans and the Jews they're torturing him and mocking him and even God was pouring out his wrath on his son and so that Jesus is crying out why is he crying out well he's crying out because of the rejection which leads to 0.3 remember the question why the rejection number 3 what the worm accomplished verse 50 Matthew 27 verse 50 but Jesus cried out again with the loud voice so there's now a second cry in in Matthews account but Matthew does not tell us what Jesus screams he just says he screams he gives us his spirit and then he dies but John tells us what he screams in John 19 verse 30 you can look it up but this is what he screams it is accomplished then he gives up the spirit and he dies or it is finished depending on your translation and as soon as that happens it says that that the curtain in the temple tears from top to bottom not from bottom to top but from top to bottom and so Matthew was telling us when Jesus died when he accomplished something when he finished something something very significant happened and what happened was the curtain was torn and - now what is the significance of of the curtain well one of the main things you should think about with anything about the curtain is separation that the curtains separated God from man that God is holy and righteous in every way and human beings we are sinful in every way we we are sinners by birth by nature and by choice which one of you can raise your hand and say I am innocent sin no one if you did you just be lying and because of who we are and because of who God is there's separation and there's separation because of our essence what we're different are our natures are different something to think about is imagine that you are an ice cube even a big ice cube whatever you're an ice cube and God is a giant forest fire the two cannot cannot coexist in the same space and be okay the forest fire will by its very nature destroy the ice cube because of the nature of the ice cube and so there's separation between God and man because God is holy and if God were to deal with you in His Holiness you're dead you cannot live with him and if you were to go into the temple that if you go back in time 2,000 years ago I think and you walk in the temple I think you would be shocked by how much separation there was if you're a Gentile you could only go so far in the temple then you'd be told stop that was the message stop you can come no further if you're a woman you could go maybe a little bit further but then the message to you was stop you can come no further if you were a priest you could go further than Gentiles and women but still there's this point where the temple said God said stop you can come no further and the veil was there to separate the holy of Holy's from the rest of the temple the Holy of Holies is where God God's presence presence was at and so a high priest one time of year could go behind the veil the veil was 60 feet tall it was so thick that it was a functional wall and that man would go in with his knees shaking because he would be in the presence of God and what Matthew tells us is that once Jesus finished his work on the cross and gave up his spirit the veil was torn which means something very significant that because of Christ there is a message there is a message that's to go out to the world and that message is not stop come no further but the message God gives to men and to Gentiles to Jews to women to everyone on the planet has come to me that's what he says come to me that's what Jesus says come to me that Jesus came to make a way to the Father he says I am the way to the Father I am that way I am the mediator between God and man and so not not only does God say come to me but he says something even crazier he says my spirit who I am my presence won't be in the Holy of Holies anymore the curtain has been torn and now I have a new temple he says you are the temple of God and every person who has put their faith in Jesus Christ turned from their sins and trusted Christ alone for their salvation it says that God's Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you it is an amazing reality it'sit's almost the exact opposite picture that instead of there being separation now God dwells in us that is a beautiful thing that God has done for us and so here's the question why was Jesus abandoned why was he rejected well here quickly are five summary statements number one Jesus was abandoned by God so you could be rescued by God Jesus was abandoned by God so you could be rescued by God because if God were to deal with you according to your sins you were to stand before God alone your sin demands death and abandonment statement number two Jesus was rejected by God so you could be accepted by God Jesus was rejected by God so you could be accepted by God because if God were to deal with you as your sins deserve he must reject you do you do you know that you by yourself you are utterly and completely unacceptable to God did you know that we live in a society that just says everyone is good everyone is great everyone is great high self esteem high self esteem high self esteem every everyone is good you're all good you're all good and listen we've been created in the image of God and we have incredible dignity as human beings there is no doubt but in your sinful condition you are completely unacceptable to God he has to reject you you would hate him if he didn't if he did not reject you because sin must be dealt with if God does not punish sin you would hate him and see Jesus was rejected by God so God could look at you and accept you statement3 though Jesus was the son of God he was treated like he was sinful so that we who are sinful could be treated like sons of God why was he rejected see Jesus though he was the son of God was treated as if he was sinful so that we who are sinful can be treated like we're sons of God daughters of God number four God punished his son so he could punish evil without punishing you I mean what do you expect God to do with your lying seriously well what do you expect God to do with your sexual immorality what do you expect God to do with all the murder in the world I mean what do you what do you expect God to do when he sees all the racism in the world and the exploitation of human beings what do you expect him to do do you expect him to say no big deal you would hate that God you want God to produce justice but if God produces justice he must give you justice if you get justice you're dead you're dead and so what what God did in the wisdom of God because of who he is because of His grace because of his love for you he says I must punish evil but I want to save sinners and so he punishes his son God punishes his son so he could punish evil without punishing you number five God killed his son so he could put an end to death without putting it and then to you he wants you to live do you know that he wants you to have life but your sin demands death so someone had to step in and pay for your death and that's what the Lord Jesus did and so when you look at the cross and we sing about the cross and you read about the cross and you think about the cross my hope you know my hope is my hope is that your heart just melts like wax not because of terror but because of the grace of God I hope you look at the cross and your heart melts you just say what kind of God is this that would save a wretch like me now there are a million implications that flow from this but I want to highlight a couple as we close here tonight the first one is this is that in Christ we are deeply loved children of God you do know this truth do you know this at the core of your being that in Christ we are deeply loved children of God our culture has perverted love our culture has made love so abstract it's made it so nebulous and it doesn't mean anything at all because love people use the word love in so many different ways I heard this song this week by will.i.am here's the song are you ready if you love it like I love it and you feel it if you feel what I feel inside if you want it like I want it then baby let's get it tonight if you say feel it say hey yeah heck yeah say heck yeah say hey yeah heck yeah heck yeah you get the idea this is love this is love this is love can you feel the love can you feel the love can you feel the love this is love this is love this is love should actually say this is nonsense this is nonsense there's nonsense it doesn't say that but what does this even mean it doesn't make any sense at all and so when we think okay just God love me what does that even mean well this is why I love the gospel because in the gospel the love of God is not a nebulous abstract aura it is concrete see in the gospel the love of God has eyes that saw the brokenness in the world and wept over it and the gospel the love of God had hands and arms that hugged and healed the world and the gospel the love of God was revealed at the cross do you want to know do you want to know if God loves you you have to look at the cross do you doubt if God loves you let me tell you why you doubt the reason you doubt the love of God if you do is because you look at your bank account and you look at your health and you look at your job and you look at your relational status and you try to interpret the love of God through your circumstances and I'm telling you if you live this way you will be confused about the love of God the rest of your life that's why the Bible says don't live that way the Bible says there is an event in history first John chapter 4 says that God did something for you in history before you were ever even alive God did something he revealed his love for the world by sending his son you know regularly I asked myself the question I mean I feel this tension when something goes bad and I say God do you really love me that's what I think but you know what I tell myself over and over and over and over again when when that question is bubbling up in your minds God really loved me this is what you say well you can say if you have something else to do it but I tell myself all the time God killed his son to make me his son he killed his son so he could make me his son and Jesus volunteered for the job he says no no one takes my no one takes my life from me I lay it down for you there's an old hymn called give me a sight o Savior I love it this is what it says give me a sight o Savior of your great love for me the love that brought you here to die on Calvary was it the nails o Savior that bound you to that tree no it was your endless love your endless love for me help me understand it make me take it in what it meant for you my Jesus to bear away my sin though Jesus was the son of God he was treated like he was sinful so that we who are sinful could be treated like sons of God this is what it means to be a Christian if I ask you the question tonight are you a Christian some of you will say this I'm trying to be I think I might be I don't know I want to be I'm trying I don't really know and if you say kind of or I'm trying to be you don't know what it means to be a Christian you are a child of God or you or not to become a Christian is to be given the status of a son or a daughter to become a Christian means you've been adopted into the family of God and see the parent that adopts a child is making a pledge here's the pledge I will treat this adopted child and love this adopted child as much as I love my own child isn't that isn't that the pledge of a parent that adopts a child I will love the adopted child as much as my very own and you know that when God saved you he says I'm gonna love you as much as I love my son Jesus that's what John 17 says but what if I misbehave as a child of God what happens if I'm born again spirit-filled I'm really a Christian and I misbehave and I sin against God many of us think Oh God's gonna reject me he's got to reject me because I've sinned I feel guilty and I feel bad push God away but let me ask you this question there aren't probably a ton of dads in here but some dads when do you feel most like a parent dads when do you feel most like a dad I can tell you when there are two times the first time is when your child is misbehaving when your child misbehaves you really begin to feel like a dad when everything is good and things are going great it's just bliss but when your child misbehaves you say oh I'm a dad that's what I'm a dad I remember a while ago this happened I'm not going to tell you which son said this but my son one of my son's was 4 years old when he said this and what happened was my kids were playing with the toy they loved they each love this toy they're fighting a little bit over the toy and we were taking turns and it was my less turn to have the toy and so my four-year-old son at the time said milah can I have the toy and Milo says no I would like to play with it four-year-old son says milah please share it with me Milo says I haven't had it for very long four-year-old son this is what he says milah do you know satan doesn't like sharing okay now he looks at me isn't that right dad I said leave me out of this son leaving me out and then I said son don't say that and he says but Dad Satanism like sharing and in my soul I'm thinking okay it's not right for you to Jesus Duke your sister there's no way that this is the right thing to be done you are manipulating Jesus and Satan to manipulate your sister this is not right at all but then there's another thought that came to my mind who's gonna fix it who's gonna step into that and say don't manipulate your sister well it's your it's your dad it's your mom and see when you see your kids misbehaving it when I see my kids misbehaving I don't think to myself four-year-old son get your pillow you're sleeping outside that's not what happens do you know what happens to me and imperfect dad I bring him clothes I bring him clothes why because I love that child now I will discipline the child that I love and God will certainly discipline you for your sin but that is not a sign that God does not love you it is the mark of your sonship the second time the second time you feel most like a parent is when your child is in trouble dads have you ever had a child in trouble what happens to you it's like something overtakes you and says I'm gonna help them I'm gonna help them and sometimes we wonder we've made bad choices we've gotten herself in precarious situations sometimes it's our fault and sometimes it's not our fault God where are you have a have you abandoned me and you know what happens as a dad you draw closer to your child it's strengthens I I know God as a perfect father so it's not a perfect correlation but as a dad if my child was in trouble the last thing I would do is run away God doesn't run away from you he will never leave you and he will never forsake you you know Jesus was abandoned by his father at the cross so he would never have to abandon you do you know that it doesn't matter what happens he will never leave you and he will never forsake you just to close two quick questions number one is the cross sweet to you Christian is the cross sweet to you do you know what the key is to reaching the world and making disciples can I tell you what the key is it's when the cross is sweet to the believer when the cross is sweet to the to the believer it melts the heart of the believer it changes the way that you live and it changes the way that you speak so if I let me give you an example of this if I say this if I say you need to love your spouse okay you need to love your spouse is that true that's true you need to love your spouse but if the gospel has not if the gospel has not grabbed ahold of your heart then one of two things are gonna happen you're gonna look at that instruction and say I need to love my spouse and you're gonna go love your spouse and you're gonna become proud and self-righteous or you're gonna be crushed by that command and say I can't love my spouse very well and you're gonna be guilty but see the heart that is captivated by Christ can in humility love their spouse without becoming self-righteous and without beating themselves up or if I say to you you need to share the gospel if your heart has not been captivated by the cross and the work of Jesus Christ one of two things will happen to you one you'll take the instruction go share the gospel with people and if you do it you're gonna beat your chest I got this I did it I did it and you'll become proud over it or you won't do it then you'll create all these excuses why you don't share the gospel and then you'll just feel guilty you'll be crushed by it but see the heart that has been captivated by the gospel that loves the gospel that praises the work of Jesus says how can I do anything but tell the world about what God has done for me so is the cross sweet to you if it is not turn your eyes on the cross look to the cross and beg God opened my eyes help me to see your love and your holiness at the cross there's the old hymn turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace put your eyes on Christ God changed me give me a sight Lord of who you are second question just to close is are you a Christian you die right now where do you go many of you would go to hell many of you would either because you haven't trusted Christ you don't believe in Jesus at all or because you're trusting in your good works the offer of eternal life is not given it is not given to those who attend church services it's not given to those who believe in God the offer of eternal life forgiveness of sins a relationship with God is not given to people who try to be good but eternal life is given to those who bow their knee and look to the cross and trust the work of Jesus Christ on the cross it's given to those who stopped trying stop trying to earn the grace of God and you just trust my hope for eternal life is in Christ alone that he died my death Adrian Rogers says salvation is not a reward for the righteous but a gift for the guilty and that is true and so I will ask you have you put your trust in Christ alone have you repented of your sins if the answer is no you need to do that and if you don't know what that means talk to someone around you the heart of God says you come you want a relationship with me come Christ has provided that way call out he'll save you change your life let's pray Lord Jesus we thank you that salvation is not a reward for the righteous Lord if if salvation was a reward for the righteous no one would have it but you alone Lord but it's not a reward for the righteous it is a gift for the guilty it's a gift for those who would by faith cry out and ask for the salvation that only you can bring and so Lord I know I know for sure there are many people here tonight who do not know you and I pray father that through the work of your spirit you would help all of us here to see the glory of the cross you'd help all of us here to be amazed and to marvel at your grace and those who do not know you I pray they would call out and be saved pray these things down in Jesus name Amen.
Pastor Dan Rude continues our series on the Book of Psalms. Dan examines the messianic text of Psalm 22 and discusses why it's so important that Jesus fulfilled each part of this prophetic song.