Several years ago I was taught that God’s Word is ALIVE! What a concept. A living book that changes! Well, lemme tell you, whoever said that is the Real Deal because it’s true. Just this morning something jumped off the page at me from a familiar passage and the Holy Spirit just yanked the chain on the light bulb in my brain to give me one of those delightful Aha! moments that come just when you need them to. Now I’m being all chipper and spinny about it, but the context is anything but, so stick with me.
I was re-reading my notes from the “HE IS” Bible Study (Beth Moore Lite–no reading, no homework, just show up & watch the video & be amazed & chew on it for days…perfect for summer). I’m headed there this morning, so I got the notion to review my notes from last week. (Notes–not written by me, but pre-typed & given to me–BONUS!) Anyway, the reference was Psalm 118:5-24 but specifically verse 18. VideoBeth explained to all us listeners that this was a spoken, recited-from-memory psalm that was said in every Jewish household before, during and after the Passover meal. We can assume that Jesus was saying these words just hours before His death. Go & read it with those eyes & get your very own light bulb click. But my This Morning revelation was from verse 18. “The LORD (Jah) has chastened me severely, but has not given me over to death.” I puzzled over this, because, I thought, the Lord DID give Jesus over to death, didn’t He? Then as I re-read it, I remembered something. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” God had to leave Jesus on the cross because Jesus was (our) sin. That was the 3 hours of darkness over the land. Then, the Bible says JESUS, while He was “sin” and therefore away from God’s presence because of it, STILL DID what God wanted Him to do, waiting until the proper time and then YIELDED UP HIS [own] SPIRIT (Matthew 27:50) in his human power and under the weight of all that sin. Go God did, indeed, chasten him severely (for what I did) but did not give him over to death. (He gave himself over to death). Woah. No wonder God knew He was gonna be well pleased with Him at the Jordon River.
So that made me think:
Did Jesus KNOW he was going to die?
Yes, because he was teaching it to his disciple friends.
Did Jesus know HOW he was going to die?
Yes, because he taught that too.
Did Jesus know God was going to forsake him? ??
Did Jesus know WHEN God was going to forsake him? ???
Did Jesus know that when God left, and after the crying out and all the curtain and weather prophecies were fulfilled, that he was able to yield up his spirit?
Did he know exactly WHAT TO SAY and WHEN or was “IT IS FINISHED” a human response in realization and a semi-joyful, relieved shout that GOD WAS BACK AND FOR GOOD?!
Worth considering thoughtfully, often and with mounds of prayer.
By the way, (if you didn’t read Psalm 118 yet) towards the end of that Psalm is the very familiar and framed-in-my-bathroom verse “This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I learned that the Hebrew word for rejoice means to “spin around with joy.” If Jesus did, we can too.