2. Christ’s Abandonment at Calvary Psalm 69:2-4

Text: “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?  Why art Thou so far from helping Me, and from the words of My roaring?  O My God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest Me not; and in the night season and am not silent.”

Psalm 22:1-2.

Good morning, beleaguered Christian!  As your eyes have been drawn to this Bible message, you are under a most vicious and prolonged attack by the enemies of your soul and mine – the world, the flesh, and that old Serpent, the Devil. 

Like king David in Psalm 69, and reflected by the more profound sufferings of Christ on the Cross – you feel that you are under great siege; deep oppression by anti-Christian forces; terrible oppressions and depressions of your Christian spirit, by events which seem to be completely out of your human control.  Thus, you cry out to the Lord God in your beleaguered plight.  “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”  Yet, there seems to be no answer to your pleas.

Dark are the depths of inner sufferings when, for even a moment, the Living Lord God seems to hide His face from the Spiritually regenerate Christian!

Dictionary Definition: Beleaguer – (verb transitive) to lay siege to; to pester… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 145)

Because Christ on that Cross was bearing all the sins of ‘His people’; suffering to pay the full penalty for sins that our thrice Holy Lord God, Jehovah – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – demanded – the Persons of God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit had to turn their Holy faces from Him there, for our Holy Lord God cannot gaze upon, or tolerate for a moment, SIN.

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”        (Habakkuk 1:13)

The very thought of our Lord Jesus, God the Son, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, soon having to take our sin upon His Holy self - made Him sweat blood, and cry out that the cup might pass from Him to do so. 

A Holy Lord God cannot abide to even glimpse sin, without punishing it with His Holy wrath. All our sins were placed upon Christ Jesus on the Cross, and He paid the penalty demanded for us, and redeemed us with His sinless Blood.  Glory and praise to His Holy Name!  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!

The Lord Jesus had to endure all the suffering of ‘His people’ on that Cross – and feeling totally abandoned by the Lord God Whom He loved, was part of that redemptive experience for Him. 

Because Christ was victorious for us – for “Up from the grave, He arose…” – we can be assured that, for those of us that are Spiritually regenerated; washed from our sins by Christ’s shed and sinless Blood – we shall NEVER be abandoned by God, ever!  Glory…

“…Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  (Hebrews 13:5-6)

“…Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:20)

Verse 2. “I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.  Our Lord was no faint-hearted sentimentalist; His were real woes, and though He bore them heroically, yet were they terrible even to Him.  He stemmed the torrent of Almighty wrath that we might forever rest in Jehovah’s love.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 298-299)

How, then, can you and I as mere Christians, cope, while experiencing such feelings of oppression and abandonment?  We can look to God’s Word, get a new glimpse of Calvary, and compare our otherwise petty afflictions with the very real sufferings and abandonment of our Saviour Lord, Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Verse 3. “My throat is dried.  Few, very few of His saints follow their Lord in prayer so far as this.  We are, it is to be feared, more likely to be hoarse with talking frivolities to men than by pleading with God; yet our sinful nature demands more prayer than His perfect humanity might seem to need.  His prayers should shame us into fervour.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 299)

Verse 3. “Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.  Many have said throughout history, ‘The eyes are the windows of the soul.’  What we see with our human eyes informs our souls and paints pictures for our human minds from which we make sense of our personal realities.

Only our dear blind brethren know what it is like to walk though life without the use of this vital faculty called sight. 

This is what the Psalmist, writing at all times under the inspiration of God the Spirit, is seeking to portray for our puny minds to grasp.  Christ, hanging upon that cruel Cross, suffering the punishment you and I so rightly deserved for our sins, was placed in a condition of infinite blindness; as God the Father was compelled by His own Holiness to turn His face from His sin-bearing Son.

“There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate of Heaven and let us in.” (Cecil F. Alexander, née Humphreys, 1818-1895. First published in her Hymns for Little Children, 1848, page 31, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and based upon the words "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was Crucified, Dead, and Buried," of the Apostles' Creed.)

Verse 4.  “They that hate Me without a cause are more than the hairs of Mine head.  The world, the flesh, and the Devil all detest the Lord Jesus Christ, and His people.  If we were of this world, then the world would love us, but as it hated our Saviour/Lord, so it hates us – and all without a cause.  Christ only suffered to save ‘His people’, all others will have to suffer for their own sins, in that Christ-rejecter’s Hell. (Matthew 1:21)

We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there.”  (Cecil F. Alexander, née Humphreys, 1818-1895)

Verse 4. “Then I restored that which I took not away.  Adam’s sin took away mankind’s purity for all of Adam’s race.  Our own sins committed, proves to us that we are born natural sinners in Adam’s fallen image and likeness.  The Lord Jesus restores Eternal life for ‘His people’ by recreating us ‘new creatures in Christ…’  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour! (Ephesians 2:10)

“O dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.”  (Cecil F. Alexander, née Humphreys, 1818-1895)

Thought:  Take heart afresh, beleaguered Christian! We have Christ’s Victory always, and He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  “It is Finished!”

Psalm 69: Spiritual Snap-Shots of Calvary 1. Christ Crucified Psalm 69:1-2

Text: “And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave Him (Christ Jesus) vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink.  And they Crucified Him, and parted His garments casting lots (gambling): 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.  And sitting down they watched Him there.”

Matthew 27:33-36.

Good morning, remembering Christian!  Not for you a light look at Scriptures concerning the cruel Crucifixion of our Beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ.  No!  You have taken the time and exercised the deepest thoughts on what exactly your Saviour and mine suffered on that Cross to make the full and God-accepted Atonement Sacrifice for our vile and disgusting sins.

“See from His head, His hands, His feet – sorrow and love flow mingled down.  Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a Crown…Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”  (Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)

“And when He (Christ Jesus) had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.  After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped saying, This cup is the New Testament in My Blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.”         (1 Corinth.11:23-34)

Christ’s whole Body was beaten, bruised, and marred before He even arrived at Golgotha’s Hill – and all that for you and for me.  This was the terrible cost God’s Holiness demanded in order to forgive us, ‘His people’, our inherited and committed catalogue of vile sin.

Christ’s sinless and Holy Blood was willingly shed by Him, to make the Atonement Sacrifice for you, dear Reader, and for Hell-deserving sinners such as me.  To make at one, (At-one-ment) sinful mankind and a Holy Lord God.

“For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son), to be sin for us (Hell-deserving sinners like you and I), Who knew no sin (Christ was and is sinless); that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”        (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he/she is a new creature: old things are passed (or passing) away; behold (look, and fully understand), all things are become (or are becoming) new.  And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation (the Gospel); to wit (that is to say) that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray in in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”  (2 Corinth 5:17-20)

“This has usually been regarded as a Messianic Psalm.  No portion of the Old Testament Scriptures is more frequently quoted in the New, with the exception of Psalm 22.”  (J.J. Stewart Perowne, 1823-1904)

One close look at the scene at Calvary, should be more than enough to melt the hearts of the vilest, hardest sinners, and draw elect souls to the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Acts 4:12)

“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”  (Isaiah 45:22)

The scene at Calvary on Christ’s Crucifixion Day, and the cries He uttered while nailed to that cursed Tree, are vital to a full understanding of what was done that day for to free sinners from our sin, and redeem us for Eternity.

Verse 1. “Save me, O God. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”  With strong cryings and tears, He offered up prayers and supplications unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared.  Thus David had prayed, and here his Son and Lord utters the same cry.  It is remarkable that such a scene of woe should be presented to us immediately after the jubilant ascension hymn of the last Psalm, but this only shows how interwoven are the glories and the sorrows of our ever-blessed Redeemer.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 298)

Verse 1.  “Save me, O God.”  This cry of Christ from the Cross of Crucifixion, is the exact same cry that our Father in Heaven desires to hear from us, His elect souls, when once He, through God the Spirit, quickens our spirit from being dead spirits to be living spirits in Christ Jesus.  It is the same cry of Peter when sinking in the waters, after walking briefly with Jesus on top of them.  It is a cry of the regenerated human heart which is always answered with a sure answer of deliverance from God.

“But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:26-32)

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

All God’s wrath against the sins of those whom He had chosen in Eternity to save, God’s elect, was unleashed upon our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ, as he hung there on that cruel Cross at Calvary.  Sin had to be punished.  Divine justice had to be served.  A Scapegoat had to be provided, upon which our vile sins had to be laid.  The sinless Lamb of God, God the Father’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, had to be slain, if the Sacrifice demanded by God’s Law was ever to be acceptably made.  Christ bore the full penalty of all our sins.

“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow…”  (Jesus Paid it All, by Elvina M. Hall, 1865)

The Lord Jesus Christ hung upon that cruel Cross willingly, shed His sinless Blood, graciously, and laid down His life lovingly – for your sins and for mine.   One renewed look at Christ’s Crucifixion scene should make our born-again hearts melt with love for Him.

Verse 2. “I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing.  As Hell-bound sinners, we come to a place where there is indeed, no standing, no earthly hope; no Eternal security.  Then it is that we are blessed with a more serious look at Christ on Calvary’s Cross, suffering and dying for our vile sins – it is then that we fully repent, turn from all our sins; cry out for God’s forgiveness, and we are immediately SAVED to serve Him - Christ Crucified for us.

Thought: “There is life for a look at the Crucified One, there is life at this moment for thee; Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved, Unto Him who was nailed to the tree.”  (Amelia Matilda Hull, 1812 – 1884)

The Victory Song of God’s Called Souls! Psalm 68:32-35

Text: “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord.  To Him that rideth upon the Heavens of Heavens, which were of old; lo, He doth send out His voice, and that a mighty voice.”

Psalm 68:32-33.

Good morning, victorious Christian!  Of ourselves, you and I, we are NOTHING.  So easily fooled by our own flesh, never mind the cunning of the world, and the viciousness of that old Serpent, the Devil and his wiles.  We contemplate a very healthy thought-life and Spiritual position, when once we acknowledge that, of ourselves, we are, and can do nothing good or positive in the service of the risen Christ Jesus.  The apostle Paul took this position.

“For I know that the law is Spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate (sin), that do I…For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present (what I would like to do) with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not…O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God though Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  (Romans 7:18-25)

Isaiah was just as self-depreciating as the later Paul was, and even more open about it in his Spirit-inspired writing: “But we are ALL as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we ALL do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away.  And there is none that (of our selves) calleth upon Thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.”  (Isaiah 64:6-7)

No Sir!  No Madam!  YOU and I are not excepted from this position of sin, ALL born of woman since Adam/Eve’s disobedient Fall from God’s grace in Eden’s Garden, are fully included in the vileness of both our inherited, and our actually committed catalogue of sins.

“…For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God (i.e. the full Holy righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself!)…” (Romans 3:22-23)

The urgent question therefore immediately arises: IF this be the case with each of us born of woman, and it is, HOW can we ever be ‘victorious Christians’, and under what circumstance can we ever sing a complete and honest ‘victory song’?

“And Jesus looking upon them (the disciples) saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”  (Mark 10:27)

When, by faith alone, by God’s unmerited grace alone, we are called by God’s Spirit with that effectual call to Salvation, and are Eternally delivered from sin and secured for Heaven – we are CREATED new creatures in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We, who were once Spiritually dead and on our way to a Christ-rejecter’s Hell, are immediately, in the twinkling of an eye, made Spiritually alive, redeemed from all sin by Christ’s shed Blood, and made fit to live in Heaven with Him forever!  Hallelujah!

 If this statement does not cause your soul to rejoice, check out whether or not you are truly saved, Reader!  Let me hear it?  “HALLELUJAH!  THANK YOU, LORD GOD!”

The only Eternal victory song we can ever sing is sung in fervent thanksgiving, worship, and praise to the One Who made it all possible though suffering, dying, and rising again from the dead to redeem our never-dying souls, fitting us for an Eternity with Him in Heaven.  Glory, all glory, to the Lamb Who is worthy indeed!  Victory in Christ Jesus!  Amen.  Let us repeat our victory song together, dear Reader:

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to received power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in Heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”  (Revelation 5:12-13)

This is the Victory song of God’s Called souls, it was He that called us with His effectual irresistible call to Salvation; and it is that very same He that keeps us in His Almighty hand and performs His work in us until the day of Eternal bliss with Christ in Heaven. Victory!

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore (a conclusion) with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”  (Jeremiah 31:3)

Our complete confidence is Spiritually inspired by the faith God has given us in His God-breathed Word on the matter. 

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”  God grants us, His people, faith to fully believe and be completely confident in His power, love, grace, and keeping, declared within the pages of His precious Word.  No Bible-belief?  No Salvation!

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6)

“But, Dr McClinton, I don’t FEEL like a victorious Christian today, I feel defeated!”

Personal feelings play no part whatsoever in being a victorious Christian.  Our FAITH overcomes any personal feelings we have on any matter pertaining to our lives, our service to Christ, or the concept of winning and losing.  We are granted faith by the Lord God in order to overcome all obstacles, hindrances, oppositions to knowing with all our hearts, that we have the complete VICTORY in our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus.  Praise His Name!

“As it is written For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded (fully believe), that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any over creature (including our puny selves!), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:36-39)

Verse 32.  “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord.” Our personal feelings might well be down deep in our boots this morning, but our Eternal destiny is to soar as eagles with Christ Jesus in a Heaven that is Holy and filled with joy.

Verse 32.  “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth. Happy are men that God is One Who is consistently the object of joyous worship for not such are the demons of the heathen.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 296)

Thought: True Christians are called to wage Spiritual war in the active service units of the risen and Holy Christ Jesus – Psalm 68 is our Battle song, a song of total victory.

The Results of Christ’s Finished Work Psalm 68:29-31

Text: “O God, Thou art terrible out of Thy Holy places: the God of Israel is He that giveth (gives, and continues to give) strength and power unto His people.  Blessed be God.”

Psalm 68:35.

Good morning, totally confident Christian!   What is the source of your total confidence?  To what, or in this case, Whom, do you attribute your full confidence?  What grounds have you, and the author, for the complete confidence we possess? 

Such pertinent questions can be forthrightly answered in one way only: our full confidence is the result of God-given faith to believe, receive, and fully trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus upon the Cross at Calvary, over two-thousand years ago!  When He cried, “It is finished!” - it was to signify, for all time, that the Son of God had successfully completed God’s required Holy Sacrifice as the Lamb of God, Who would, by that Sacrifice, take upon Himself all the punishment and responsibility for the all the sins of ‘His people’, and shed His sinless Blood to redeem us from all our sin.  Hallelujah!  This is our full confidence!

Christ, and Him Crucified for our sins – Eternal Salvation in Him alone!  Hallelujah!

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ Crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  (1 Corinthians 1:22-25)

There is, basically, only one difference between those professing Christ as Saviour, and those actually possessing Christ as Eternal Saviour and Lord: faith – the God-given ability to fully trust and believe in His written Word.

Faith is the gift of God.  Therefore, if one does not possess such fully confident faith, it is because they have never received God’s gift of Bible-believing faith.  Simple as that.

“For by grace (unmerited favour of God) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Definition of Faith: The King James Version Bible defines faith thus – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1)

This Spiritual gift of faith is only given to those whom God the Father has elected (chosen) in Eternity to give to His Son, Jesus Christ, that He might redeem us by His full Atonement Sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross. 

The Father elected us in Eternity, before the foundation of the world, and give us to Christ Jesus, God the Son.  God the Son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us on the Cross, the sinless, for the sinful – and rose again on the third day in order to justify us in the sight of His Holy Father.  (To make it just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned: justified before our Holy God.)

If you can believe this, then you have been blessed with God’s gift of faith in order to do so – you will not believe it otherwise.

“All that the Father giveth Me (Jesus Christ) shall come unto Me (by God-given faith); and him/her that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from Heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him (God the Father) that sent Me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”  (John 6:37-40)

If you can believe this, then you have been blessed with God’s gift of faith in order to do so – you will not believe it otherwise.

Here is the explanation for what I have just repeated in written form concerning believing faith, and lack of same:

“Now we (the elect redeemed of God) have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing Spiritual things with Spiritual.  BUT the natural man (the unsaved, the reprobate) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)

If you can believe this, then you have been blessed with God’s gift of faith in order to do so – you will not believe it otherwise.

The bottom-line of what I have just written is this: you and I are either Bible-believing Christians or we are NOT Christians at all!  If there is no belief in what is written in our KJV Bibles, it is because the Lord God has not given such folk His precious gift of faith in order to fully believe what God the Holy Spirit has inspired men to write in our Bibles.

There can be no confidence in other men/women if they can not show that they have full confidence in what God has written in His revealed will, His Word.  Unfortunately, today, there are many pulpits filled with men/women that do NOT believe what is written in God’s inspired Word – the Holy Bible – but are relying on some form of legalistic, ‘good works’ RELIGION – which, in my humble opinion, is the bane of Bible-believing, born again, Christianity!

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates (rejected of God, failures).”             (2 Corinthians 13:5-6)

Verse 28. “Thy God hath commanded thy strength.  Thy strength is thy best – all that is within thee; all that thou canst do, and be, and become; and all that thou hast…”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 296)

Verse 28. “Strengthen, O God, that which Thou hast wrought for us. We expect God to bless His own work.  He has never left any work unfinished yet, and He never will.  “When we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  And now, being reconciled to God, we may look to Him to perfect that which concerneth us, since He never forsakes the work of His own hands.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 296)

“When the enemies of God rise up against His church, it is time for the church to fall down to God, to implore His aid against those enemies.  Holy prayers are more powerful than profane swords.”  (Thomas Wall ‘A comment on the times’, (1657)

Thought:  Have full confidence in God’s finished work, on the Cross, and in us.  In both cases, the Master Lord cries: “It is finished!”  The outcome is Eternally secure.