Deliverance

Psalm 22:4-8
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

In the history of Israel, God delivered His people time and time again.  He spared Noah from the flood.  He delivered Lot out of Sodom.  He spared Isaac on the altar.  He delivered Jacob from the famine and then his descendants from the bondage of Egypt.  He responded to their cries as they toiled in captivity.  He led them to their promised land again.  The God of Israel is the deliverer, mighty to save.

But Christ would not be delivered from His cross.  The one who should be highly exalted was counted as less than a man.  He bore the reproach.  He was despised and rejected.  He was forsaken by those closest to Him.  And even the Father turned away as He hung in agony, bearing the weight of sin.  And those who reviled Him and reveled in this moment threw that taunt up at Him: “Where is your God to save you now, if you are His so-called Son?”

There was no deliverance for Jesus on that dark day.  He actually died.  His life was not spared.  But that was the way it had to be.  A God with a track record for miraculous deliverances would give His own life to secure salvation of a different kind than Israel was used to, because through the death of Christ, we can be delivered from the tyrant of sin for good.  Because He would not come down from His cross, we have hope.  We have life.  We are saved.

It’s hard for us, with our hearts so full of love for our Lord, to imagine the hate of the multitude for Jesus as they watched Him die on a cross.  It’s hard for us, knowing what was accomplished that day, to understand how they couldn’t see what was happening, who Jesus was and what He was doing there for them, for us.  And still people misunderstand what it was all about.  But Jesus’ deliverance was impossible because the powerful and eternal love of Christ led Him to that moment and caused Him to willingly endure it all as He gave His life so we could be delivered, too, by the mighty hand of our God.

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