Sermon: A Psalm of the Cross pt. 2 (Psalm 22)

It is Finished!

Psalm 22:22-31 (ESV)

I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

[23] You who fear the Lord, praise him!

All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,

and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

[24] For he has not despised or abhorred

the affliction of the afflicted,

and he has not hidden his face from him,

but has heard, when he cried to him.

[25] From you comes my praise in the great congregation;

my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

[26] The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;

those who seek him shall praise the Lord!

May your hearts live forever!

[27] All the ends of the earth shall remember

and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

shall worship before you.

[28] For kingship belongs to the Lord,

and he rules over the nations.

[29] All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;

before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,

even the one who could not keep himself alive.

[30] Posterity shall serve him;

it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

[31] they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,

that he has done it.

Last week we spent most of the sermon in the dark.  The three hours of darkness during the crucifixion when God’s wrath was being poured out on His beloved Son for the sin of His people.  We began this time with the opening words of the Psalm, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? And we ended with the cry that still reverberates down through the centuries to fill our ear, It is finished!  We entered into the darkness as we heard the cries and the prayer of Jesus to the Father.  As God turned His back on sin and His Son, He still had His mind on His Son.  God always and forever loves His Son.

Part 2 of Psalm 22, moves from a forsaken Savior to a triumphant Savior.  From a prayer of the Son that seems as if it’s not being heard, to a Gospel message that will be heard.  The transition is so amazing that as we read it our hearts soar to heaven as we begin to see the foretelling not only of a crucified triumphant Savior but of a triumphant Gospel through the sacrifice of the Son.  The extent of the atonement is proclaimed centuries before anyone has even heard the gospel.

What is the Gospel Call?

Before I explain the Gospel I want to make sure we understand one important piece.  It is a Gospel Call.  In other words it is a call to respond.  Many people have been led to think that by simply believing the facts surrounding the Gospel that they are saved.  Jesus and all the apostles teach in the Bible that it is belief, coupled with repentance and faith.

The Gospel in its most basic form is this:

-All people including you and me have sinned…

Romans 3:23 (ESV)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

-The penalty for your sin and my sin is death…

Romans 6:23 (ESV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Jesus Christ died and His death is accepted by God as just payment for your sin and mine:

Romans 5:8 (ESV)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

That’s the basic Gospel message.  It’s the general call that goes forth from human instruments like preachers, evangelists, and everyday believers.  It is this call to believe that we’ll see was foretold and its success foretold in Psalm 22.

The bottom line is this: When Christ’s death by crucifixion was foretold and came to pass exactly as it had been laid out; God’s plan is seen as guaranteed.  When we see in today’s text that the Gospel is foretold and is coming to pass also as God has planned it.  This leads us to the biblical conclusion that the death of Christ has secured salvation for God’s people just as surely as Jesus died on the cross.

The extent of the atonement is not universal but it is effectual for all God has chosen.  It is the means by which the elect are brought from death to life.

1. Offspring of Abraham Are Brought to Life Through the Gospel (22-24)

I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

[23] You who fear the Lord, praise him!

All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,

and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

[24] For he has not despised or abhorred

the affliction of the afflicted,

and he has not hidden his face from him,

but has heard, when he cried to him.

The extent of the atonement begins with those of Abraham’s descendants that are brought to life by the Gospel.  We’re not speaking of Jews by birth but Jews by new birth.  Those who are born again are the true descendants of Abraham.  The Gospel message went out first among the Israelites according to plan.

Romans 1:16 (ESV)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Jews heard the Good News first.  Some were saved but most rejected the message.

As the writer of Hebrews continues to prove the superiority of Jesus Christ over and above all other things, he states that Jesus is superior to the angels because He is God’s Son and not just a mere messenger as an angel is.  As he reasons his way through this truth he quotes from our Psalm.

His point is that Jesus has become the Savior of His people by becoming like them in flesh and blood and dying for them.  Jesus didn’t just come to earth with a message like an angel, He is superior because His death actually makes Jews brothers and sisters with God as Father.  Salvation is not something that is possible for God’s people, salvation is effectual.  The death of Christ actually saves.  Those who were of Jewish descent believe the Gospel and become Abraham’s offspring, Jesus’ brothers.

Hebrews 2:10-12 (ESV)

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.  [11] For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,  [12] saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

2. A Great Congregation is Assembled Through the Gospel (25-29)

[25] From you comes my praise in the great congregation;

my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

[26] The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;

those who seek him shall praise the Lord!

May your hearts live forever!

[27] All the ends of the earth shall remember

and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

shall worship before you.

[28] For kingship belongs to the Lord,

and he rules over the nations.

[29] All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;

before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,

even the one who could not keep himself alive.

Jews were the first target of Gospel preaching.  Second came the Gentiles.  In our text we have the phrases: All the ends of the earth… all the families of the nations.

The Gospel will produce an ever expanding Kingdom of God.  As the Good News spreads, the Kingdom grows.

So far we’ve seen those changed by the Gospel message as some being poor and some rich, some Jews and some Gentiles.

Jews were the first converts and those that the church began with.  The Apostles were all Jews.  They were the first to believe the Gospel.  Then Paul entered into the picture with the same message.  He was directed to not go to the House of Israel but Go to those nations who had not heard the Gospel.  He went and preached and Gentiles believed.  More churches were started and through their ministries others came to believe this message of Good News.  Through the work of God a great congregation was being formed.  The Book of Acts shows that thousands came to believe after Peter’s sermon.  The congregation continued to expand.  Down through the centuries the message of the cross has been preached and believed.

It’s not finished yet…

3.  Future Generations Will Be Brought to Life Through the Gospel (30-31)

[30] Posterity shall serve him;

it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

[31] they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,

that he has done it.

The message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is an unchanging ever powerful life changing message.  It never changes and always accomplishes God’s purpose.  God’s purpose is to bring about a people that live for and serve Him.

Posterity shall serve him;

John 1:11-13 (ESV)

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  [12] But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  [13] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

David declares as a prophet in Psalm 22 that there are people yet unborn who are going to believe in the work of Jesus Christ and become His people.  A coming generation, those yet unborn will be effectually called by God and they will exercise saving faith.

Not only did the Gospel bring Jews into the kingdom and not only did it bring Gentiles into the Kingdom but it will and is bringing generations into the Kingdom.

As we look at verse 31, I want to explain that in a literal Hebrew rendering of the final phrase, it could translated: It is Finished!

Salvation is accomplished by Christ…He has done it.

Salvation is accomplished for God’s people.  The door is still open and people are still being saved.

If you have a loved one who is not yet brought from death to life by the Gospel take heart, the message of the cross will every time succeed in accomplishing what God desires to accomplish.  Trust in Christ and pray that He would save your loved one.  Pray diligently because it is only God who can accomplish this great miracle, only He is the Savior, we’re not.

It’s never too early to begin praying.  Pray even for those who are yet unborn.  Because it is only through the work of Christ they will be saved.  The message is, He has done it!

Do you see what confidence we can have because of this Psalm?  The death of Christ happened exactly like David, through the Holy Spirit, prophesied that it would.  It happened even down to the minute details.  Just as surely as the crucifixion accomplished payment for the sin of the elect so shall the Gospel Message find success in bringing salvation to God’s people.

We can share this message of good news with those we come in contact with and have confidence that it will accomplish God’s purposes.

[31] they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,

that he has done it.

We are those who are to proclaim his righteousness to yet another generation. The Gospel message started in Jerusalem and then extended out to the area around Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.  Now it is going to all nations and generations

Acts 1:6-8 (ESV)

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  [7] He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  [8] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The cross was foretold through the Holy Spirit 1000 years before it happen.  The cross came to pass exactly as God had planned it.  The Gospel was foretold 1000 years before it started.  It is coming to pass exactly as God planned it.

Perhaps you are part of God’s plan?  Perhaps your sin was paid for by Christ?  Perhaps God is calling you to respond to the Gospel call through faith and repentance?  Perhaps God would receive glory as He saves you and as you begin to be His witness…

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