For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning?
2 My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest.
3 But you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you rescued them.
5 They cried to you and were set free; they trusted in you and were not disgraced.
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by people.
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer and shake their heads:
8 “He relies on the Lord; let him save him; let the Lord rescue him, since he takes pleasure in him.”
9 It was you who brought me out of the womb, making me secure at my mother’s breast.
10 I was given over to you at birth; you have been my God from my mother’s womb.
11 Don’t be far from me, because distress is near and there’s no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths against me— lions, mauling and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me.
15 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.
16 For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me.
18 They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.
19 But you, Lord, don’t be far away. My strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Rescue my life from the sword, my only life from the power of these dogs.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth, from the horns of wild oxen. You answered me!
22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the assembly.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! All you descendants of Israel, revere him!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred the torment of the oppressed. He did not hide his face from him but listened when he cried to him for help.
25 I will give praise in the great assembly because of you; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear you.
26 The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him. May your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations will bow down before you,
28 for kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules the nations.
29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before him— even the one who cannot preserve his life.
30 Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord.
31 They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done.
— Psalm 22

Friday, December 22

Messiah Sacrificed

Scripture Reading: John 3:16, Psalm 22

John 3:16 is the essence of the Gospel, and perhaps the best-known verse in the entire Bible.  Unfortunately, John 3:16 has become so commonplace in popular culture that the verse, for many people, has lost its potency; Psalm 22 helps us to again understand the power behind John 3:16. 


Across history, many Christians have interpreted Psalm 22 as a direct prediction and description of Jesus’ suffering on the cross, as Jesus was mocked and scorned during the crucifixion, and even cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, Psalm 22:1).  Imagine Jesus Christ, Holy God in human form, suffering in the way the Psalmist suffers in Psalm 22.  Further still, remember that Jesus’ suffering is punishment for YOUR sin, so that you “will not perish but have eternal life,” if you repent and follow Him.  Try to comprehend how grievous your sin is, that the perfect Son of God had to endure so much to pay for it, but also think of how vast God’s love is for you, that He would willingly sacrifice Himself so your sin would be forgiven and forgotten!


 Reflection Questions:

1.       Do you always see your sin as serious enough for Jesus to suffer for? Or are you tempted to rationalize or minimize your sins?

2.       Do you always believe that God’s love shown in the Gospel is enough to save you?



“How Deep the Father’s Love” – King’s Kaleidoscope