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Archive for December 13, 2011

Dec 13

The Cross, The Crook, The Crown

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up,Sermon Preview

As you know, we’ve been working through the book of Psalms as a church in our series, Pour Out Your Heart to Him.

As Ryan said on Sunday, in God’s good providence, our series has brought us to a set of three psalms that, together, are an especially good fit for Christmas. Psalm 22, 23, and 24 aren’t specifically about Jesus’ incarnation, but they are famous for pointing God’s people forward to Christ. The arrival of Christ in the world inaugurated the fulfillment of each of these Psalms.

  • Psalm 22 points forward to Jesus’ death (The cross)
  • Psalm 23 points forward to Christ, who is the promised Good Shepherd (The shepherd’s crook)
  • Psalms 24 is about the coming King of Glory, who is Jesus (The crown)

So, we’re calling these three messages, The Cross, The Crook, The Crown.

There are some psalms we do well to know well. These are three of them. And each of these psalms and, therefore, each of these sermons will be a good opportunity for bringing a friend or family member to church. For some suggestions on how to take advantage of this season for sharing the gospel, read last week’s post, “Who is Jesus? A Good Time for an Important Question.” And don’t forget to pick up some Invitation Cards for this year’s Christmas weekend services.

In his sermon on Psalm 23, “Has God Forsaken Me?,” Ryan closed his message with a nice summary of what the psalm meant in its original context, how it pointed to and was fulfilled in the event of Christ’s death, and how it can be applied to us:

David felt forsaken by God amidst terrible suffering. He fought against his doubt and despair by recounting God’s ways and faithfulness in the past. He also kept asking God for help. Eventually God answered. But in God’s orchestration David also pointed ahead 1000 years to the coming of the one who would bring the true victory, the final hope, the sure help, and the deepest deliverance. This Jesus, the true Son of David and Righteous King, took on suffering and death by bearing sin. His suffering wasn’t symbolic or hyperbole; it was true and real. He didn’t just feel forsaken by God, but he was forsaken by God because he was bearing sin. But God rescued him; on the third day he rose and now lives forever and ever. Therefore his “gospel” is trustworthy. He did what he came to do, and he did it to the full.

Jesus came to die in our place. He died so that we might live. He was beaten so that we might have peace. He was bloodied so that we might be healed. He was rejected so that we might be accepted. He was despised so that we might be loved. He was forsaken so that we might be received. He suffered so that we might be comforted. He took on judgment so that we might be declared righteous.

He welcomes us to come to him, be saved, be reconciled, to join in worship, and to join him in his plan for spreading his glory in this world. So now when we feel forsaken, when we feel like he doesn’t hear us, we can trust him. He answers prayer, even if in His timing. His timing is perfect. His plan is sure. And one day all suffering and doubt and despair will be wiped away completely, for those who are His. It’s not done yet, so we still grope after Him; we still fight away our doubt and despair. We do that by learning from David’s model in Psalm 22, but also by seeing the fullest reality of Psalm 22 in the cross of Christ.