Lesson Plans‎ > ‎

Using our Sinfulness as a Catalyst

posted Aug 26, 2012, 5:52 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jan 15, 2014, 6:15 PM ]
August 5, 2012 
Key Passage: Psalm 22

“Using our Sinfulness as a Catalyst”

Since we began our study of the OT last August, we’ve been emphasizing how every book, every chapter, points to the Jesus of the NT. Frankly, I’m not sure there’s a stronger case to be made than today’s passage – Psalm 22. As well, for those who think the bible is a book of coincidences, written by men, this chapter should help to dispel those false beliefs in short fashion. It’s easy to note the graphic references to Christ’ experience on the cross; however, let’s not lose sight of what put him there … not who, but what … our sin. It’s not real popular in the narcissistic age we live in to emphasize our sinfulness. Most who attend church want an upbeat message that glosses over, or completely ignores, our sin in favor or our goodness. The problem with that? Paul says we have no goodness – that our best efforts don’t even register on God’s scale. Here’s the problem with that philosophy: if we think you’re a pretty good person and that God just had to give you a little boost to get you into Heaven, you won’t love Jesus much. But if you recognize that you were utterly lost in your rebellion against God and he basically gave you a “get out of hell” pass through his Son, Jesus … well, then, the cross and the forgiveness it affords takes on a whole new meaning, with eternal impact. I’d invite each of us to examine our own sinfulness as we study today’s passage.

Keep in mind, David penned this description of Christ’ crucifixion 1,000 years before it actually happened, and hundreds of years before crucifixion ever became an evil thought in men’s minds …

  1. Christ suffered on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, and ultimately, our salvation

  • (22:1) He was forsaken by God – Here we enter into the most unfathomable mystery of the Gospel. No one can really know what was involved in God’s forsaking Jesus during the last three hours of darkness as he hung on the cross. While the physical agony was unimaginable, it pales into comparison with the spiritual agony of the son being separated from his Father.
  • (22:6-8) He was despised and mocked – here, Christ calls himself a worm and not a man. Ever thought of yourself in those terms? BTW, the Hebrew word for “worm” used here is the cochineal, which produces a scarlet color as a dye when it’s crushed.
  • (22:12-13) He was overpowered by ferocious men – Jesus hung on the cross while the Jewish leaders snorted their ridicule and false accusations. Even though Jesus could have called down 10,000 legions of angels, our Savior chose to suffer silently.
  • (22:14-18) He went through the physical and emotional agony of crucifixion - Note these points:

“poured out like water,” “bones out of joint,” “heart turned to wax and melted,” “strength dried up and tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth,” “dust of death,” “surrounded by evil men,” “pierced hands and feet,” “count all my bones,” “people stare and gloat,” “divide my garments and cast lots for my clothing.”

But praise God, for verses 22-31, which clearly depict the resurrection and our one true hope!
Q: Which view results in greater faith in God: that He ordains suffering, or that He only permits it?

Bottom Line: This week, we saw multitudes of Christians rightly defending both the biblical definition of marriage as well as our right to free speech. I wonder, though, how many of those same Christians are lining up for church today, ready to confess that like the world’s contingent of same-sex marriage supporters, we too are sinners in need of a Savior. Anytime we protest those we disagree with, remember, it’s Christ-like to put ourselves in their place of sin and see life through the eyes of their sin.