April
13
Author
Richard Stamp
He Has Done It!

This is an important week in the calendar of the church. Around the world, millions of Christians will observe Good Friday and Easter Sunday – the two pivotal dates around which the church, and all of history rests.

About a thousand years before Jesus’s crucifixion, David wrote a Psalm that would stand in scripture as one of the most striking, accurate portrayals of what Jesus would experience on the cross. It’s Psalm 22. Read it for yourself:

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” These are the identical words spoken by Jesus as he hung on the cross as recorded in Matthew 27. Have a look at some of the other similarities:

Psalm 22
“All who see me, mock me. The hurl insults, shaking their heads”
and 
Matthew 27
“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads”

Psalm 22
“He trusts in the Lord!” they say. “Let the Lord rescue him”
and
Matthew 27
“He trusts in God. Let God rescue him, for he said, ‘I am the son of God’”

Psalm 22
“They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment”
and
Matthew 27
“When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots”

Psalm 22
“A pack of villains encircles me. They pierce my hands and my feet”
and
Matthew 27
“Then they led him away to crucify him”
 
In Psalm 22:14-15, we read this, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth”. Crucifixion was excruciating in so many ways, but a thousand years before Jesus was crucified, the Psalmist identifies how a crucifixion would cause the body to dry out – as fluid collects down the legs and into the extremities, and the body dehydrates, the thirst would have been severe. David predicted it in Psalm 22, and as he hung on the cross, one of the few recorded words of Jesus were this, “I thirst”.

And yet, there is more to that sentence than originally meets the eye. Scripture promises that for those who believe in him, Jesus will cause water to rise up in us that will cause joy unspeakable, and that water – the water of God’s spirit within us, will never dry out.

“I thirst”

Jesus had left the throne and glory of heaven, in order to satisfy the penalty that was perfectly entitled to a holy God for all the wrong that had been done in his creation. And Jesus bore that penalty. In our stead. And for you and I he bled and died, so that we didn’t have to. Dehydrated. In excruciating pain. Apart from the Father.

Perhaps, as he hung on that rugged cross, apart from the Father – as he died in order that his shed blood would provide for us all a cleansing flow that would take away every wrong thing that we would ever do, perhaps then, at that lowest ebb in his perfect life he cried out what each human soul cries out when separated from God:

“I thirst”

The finale to Psalm 22, also predicts what we will celebrate on Easter Sunday, “Future generations will be told about the Lord, declaring to a people yet to be born: He has done it!”

He has done it.

He has gone to the cross. He has fulfilled Psalm 22, and every other biblically recorded prophecy about his life. He has bled. He has made a way for every person to be able to present themselves before the Father of all creation, and know his saving love. He has opened the way for us to live life fully now, and even more fully in eternity. We needn’t thirst any longer. Living water is available to us right now.

Jesus death changes everything for us. At 11am this Friday, we’ll explore more fully how this happened and what it means for all of us living in 21st century Poole & Bournemouth.

On Easter Sunday we’ll meet again, and celebrate what happened 3 days after Jesus crucifixion. I don’t want to give the story away, but for those who are interested in how it turns out for Jesus, here’s spoiler alert from the book of Revelations, right at the end of the bible story:

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

And then this, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”

To the thirsty – water without cost.

All hail the King of King, and Lord of Lords.

Thirst no more. He has done it.