Stained With Blood So Divine

3 of 3 message in the “Old Rugged Cross” series. Find the rest here.

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The Old Rugged Cross

Stained with Blood So Divine

Psalm 22

We’ve been looking at two old songs of the cross.

George Bennards song, The Old Rugged Cross which he wrote 100 years ago about the cross, and King David’s song which he wrote 3,000 years ago- 2,000 years before Jesus was even born.

David’s Psalm contains many references to Jesus’ death, several of which we will see in this week’s passage.

There are several similarities between the Old Rugged Cross and Psalm 22.

2 weeks ago we looked at the beginning of the Psalm which begins with My God, My God why have you forsaken me and we talk about how Bennard started his song with “On a hill far away” and wrote because there was this lack of appreciation for the cross- it was an object of scorn.

Last week we looked at the 2nd and last quarters of Psalm 22 in which David talks about the fact that though he has gone through a horrible experience, he still finds hope in God and the similarity in The Old Rugged Cross says that the cross has a wondrous attraction- God drawing us to Himself.

Today I want us to look at the very middle of Psalm 22 in which we have the allusions to the dying of Christ- that He was poured out and His blood was shed and notice the similarity with the old hymn’s 3rd verse:

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

A wondrous beauty I see,

For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

To pardon and sanctify me.

Let’s read Psalm 22 together starting in verse 11.

There are 2 kinds of people who walk into a store, people who are there for a specific item and people who are there just browsing.

Whenever I walk into a store, I’m there for a purpose. I’m there for a reason- If an employee asks if they can help me find something I will either rattle off what I’m looking for or say, “No thanks. I know right where it is.”

However, I occasionally find myself in the position where I’m walking into a store with the other kind of person- with someone who is just browsing.

I can’t stand this.

I don’t even like it when I’m going into a store and I know what I’m there to get but I don’t know what color-

For example, if Nicole and I are going into Lowes and we know that we need to buy tile but we haven’t determined what color or style yet… This is trouble waiting to happen.

Cause here’s the other thing, we’ve got 2 young kids.

Walking into a store to browse with kids is like walking in with a time bomb. The whole time you’re looking around the clock is ticking until they are just simply done and they’re going to fight with one another, climb a display, or climb a display to fight one another.

Today is Palm Sunday and it’s referred to in that way because a week before Jesus is crucified He arrives in Jerusalem for the passover, and when He arrives, He arrives on a donkey fulfilling an old prophecy that the promised one would ride in on a donkey’s colt.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem that day, He was declaring that He was not simply there to browse but that He was there with a purpose.

He was there for a specific reason. He was not merely looking to see the sights or celebrate the holy week of passover- He was there to proclaim that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, the Promised One whom the prophecies foretold of…

People got this and they rejoiced. They were excited.

They were so excited that they gathered around the road that Jesus was riding in on and shouted and celebrated. They threw their cloaks down on the road so that the donkey didn’t have to walk on the dirty ground.

They grabbed branches from the nearby Palm trees and bushes and threw them down for the donkey to walk on…

It was a spectacular and moving scene.

But as Jesus entered, He was saying that He was there for a purpose, but the people didn’t understand what that purpose was.

They were hoping for an earthly king that would re-establish their nation… They thought Jesus is going to become our King and “make Israel great again.”

But Jesus wasn’t there to make Israel great again,

He had much greater work to do.

A week later Jesus would be dying on the cross and some of the same people who cried out Hosanna! and threw down Palm Branches would be watching it all unfold with confusion and disbelief… what had happened? What had gone wrong? Nothing had gone wrong. Jesus was indeed the King, but He was the king who had come to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin.

George Bennard wrote that third verse

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

A wondrous beauty I see,

For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

To pardon and sanctify me.

In Psalm 22 David is laying out all that has happened to Him in his plea or his cry for help.

He’s giving us all the reasons that he is distraught and needs help.

He’s listing all the bad things that have happened while making his case for why he deserves or needs the Lord’s help. He’s clarifying why he has felt forsaken.

We understand what David is doing.

We’ve done this.

We usually sound something like this-

“Sorry I’m late. I have just been having the worst week.

First the kids were sick over the weekend so were are still recuperating from that, then the truck had a flat tire, the stuff we ordered for the party got lost in shipping so I had to go out and find it in a store, and then I spilled my coffee all over my shirt as I was leaving the house and had to go back in and change so that’s why I’m late…”

David is recounting what he has experienced:

Look at it with me:

David cries out for help because of his condition-

No ones there – v.11 (that’s why he cried out verse 1)

He’s surrounded – v.12, 16a

He’s completely spent & helpless  – v. 14-15, 16b-18

Most people tell you all they went through in an effort to enlist your help. To get you to help them. That’s what David is doing.

But David’s list tells us all that Jesus went through-

and Jesus didn’t go through it asking for us to help Him, Jesus went through it asking to help us…

Jesus went through the worst of experiences asking to help us.

Jesus went through all of it to help us.

The gospels are all about Jesus’ life, but truly they are all about Jesus’ death. Tim Keller points out that no other biography of someone’s life would focus half of their material on the last week of their life. The gospels give us a glimpse at Jesus’ birth and then virtually no details of the first 30 years of His life, they record the highlights of three years and then, in great detail recount Jesus’ death.

Jesus suffered these things to be our help, to help us.

He was sacrificed for us.

Jesus is our help because-

No one was there v.11, 1

Christ suffered alone on the cross and cried out for God because He was all alone.

He was surrounded – v.12, 16a

12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

This is a reference to the palace guard in hall called the Praetorium, which scourged Jesus before he was sentenced to death on the cross. This was such a brutal experience that Pilate thought the crowds would be appeased that Jesus had gone through it and he wouldn’t have to be crucified.

John 19:1Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

2And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

3And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

Mark 15:16And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

19And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

4Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

6When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

7The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

8When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

He was completely poured out – v. 14-15, 16b-18

Matthew 27
35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

John 19:30
He said it is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 

32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 

33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 

34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 

35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 

36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

The Jews celebrate as Jesus entered into Jerusalem because they felt that their Savior King who would rebuild their nation had arrived-

He is the King and He is the Savior, but He had a much greater work in mind. A work that could not be accomplished through conquering earthly foes- it was a spiritual foe He sought to conquer and He didn’t merely over power Him.

Rather, He took away the only weapon that the Spiritual Foe had against us, condemnation.

19But be not thou far from me, O Lord:

O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20Deliver my soul from the sword;

my darling from the power of the dog.

21Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

“My darling from the power of the dog.”

Meaning his soul, his life, which is most dear to every man.

The original of my darling one, “my only one,” and therefore is our soul dear, because it is our only soul.

Would that all men made their souls their darlings, but many treat them as if they were not worth so much as the mire of the streets.

The dog, lion, and unicorn.

(Unicorn used to mean Rhinocerous or a one horned animal)

This is the evil one who wishes to destroy us.

His weapon against us condemnation. That we are condemned for our sins…

Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God

…For still our ancient foe

doth seek to work us woe;

his craft and power are great,

and armed with cruel hate,

on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,

our striving would be losing,

were not the right man on our side,

the man of God’s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is he;

And though this world, with devils filled,

should threaten to undo us,

we will not fear, for God hath willed

his truth to triumph through us.

The Prince of Darkness grim,

we tremble not for him;

his rage we can endure,

for lo, his doom is sure;

one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,

no thanks to them, abideth;

the Spirit and the gifts are ours,

thru him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,

this mortal life also;

the body they may kill;

God’s truth abideth still;

his kingdom is forever.

You see, Satan can no longer say, “they must pay for their sins!”

because on the cross they’ve already been paid for…

In Christ there is no danger of condemnation because He has already faced the punishment…

Where the Fire Has Been

Many years ago, a father and his daughter were walking through the grass on the Canadian prairie. In the distance, they saw a pr

airie fire; eventually, they realized, it would engulf them.

The father knew there was only one way of  escape: they would quickly begin a fire right where they were and burn a large

patch of grass. When the huge fire drew near, they the

n would stand on the section that had already burned. When the fire actually did approach them, the girl was terrified by the raging flames.

But her father assured her, “The flames can’t get to us. We are standing where the fire has already been.”

In Christ, we stand where the fire and wrath of God has already been.