His name is Salvation.
He is the unblemished Passover Lamb ransomed for the world, to pay a debt He didn’t owe, to extend grace we don’t deserve.
And we are telling His love story all wrong.
This past Passover, I was reading the crucifixion story to the kids during our Bible time. I got to the part where Jesus (Yahshua) cries out “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” and I suddenly stopped. I couldn’t read anymore. Because everything I had been taught about that moment flooded my mind and then left my heart feeling very uneasy.
I had been taught that in that moment Yahshua, the unblemished Lamb of God (Elohim) became sin and that Elohim turned His back on Him; that Elohim abandoned His One and Only Son, who voluntarily took my place on that cross.
And my spirit, for the first time, rejected that idea.
Why would Elohim forsake the only person who walked this earth without an ounce of sin, but not forsake me, a broken, sinful, messy wretch? Why would Elohim ask Yahshua, the unblemished One to become sin to pay for my sin?
Sin doesn’t pay the debt. Perfect righteousness does.
The story didn’t make sense. And I knew I needed to find the Truth.
I started researching the context of the story and ALL His words at the crucifixion. And what I found brought me to my knees in humble worship before my Messiah. Because there is so much more to the story than we have been told.
And the missing part reveals the heart of Yahshua, of Yahweh.
There is an old Jewish custom of repeating the first and last lines of scripture. If you want to make a reference to the scripture, you repeat the first line. If you want to make the point that this scripture is of great significance and are urging the listener to study that particular scripture, you reference the first and last line. The aleph and taw. (Just a side note, Yahshua calls Himself the aleph and taw….)
Psalm 22 begins…..
“My El (God), My El (God), why have You forsaken me?”
It then proceeds to detail a gruesome scene of someone being beaten, tortured, and mocked. It ends with…..
“It is finished.”
Do you see it? Do you see what our Savior was doing in His last moments? Do you see His heart?
He is hanging on a cross, bleeding from His punctured wrists and feet, a crown of thorns pressed into His head. He has just endured a night’s long beating with a spiked whip. His bones are broken. He has been abandoned by all His earthly companions and family. He is enduring hell on earth. He is shattered, exposed in absolute humiliation for all to see. But what does He do?
Does He condemn the priests, the soldiers, the people crying for His death? Does He beg for mercy, beg for intervention, beg for relief?
What does Yahshua do in those agonizing moments on the cross?
He gives His final sermon; His final plea for His flock, for us, to see and understand what is happening right in front of their faces.
He spent His last breath on, and for, US, the unworthy, the broken, the blemished.
He pointed them to Psalm 22, to the Truth about what was happening and Who He was. He wanted them to understand, to see with their eyes, and read with their hearts, the significance of His Life, His Death, and ultimately His Resurrection. He spent His last moments of life concerned not with Himself and what He was enduring, but instead reaching out in Love and Grace to those who mocked, scorned, and rejected Him.
Yahshua, the Only One found worthy to redeem humanity, in His last act of perfect Love, pursued His murderers.
Let that sink in.
His perfect Love, His perfect Grace, His perfect Mercy was deeper and wider and longer and higher than His physical pain, than even His own suffering and death.
Does that give you goosebumps? It should.
Our Messiah, in the middle of His hell on earth, was only thinking of us.
How can I do anything but fall on my knees in worship knowing this? How can I do anything but lift my hands in humble surrender and praise to my Messiah, My Savior, My Yahshua?
He did this for me.
And through it all, our Father, Yahweh, never left His Son’s side. He didn’t abandon Him. Heaven cried that day, even as it rejoiced for humanity’s redemption.
The Son glorified the Father in perfect submission; the Father glorified the Son in perfect adoration.
THIS is the crucifixion story we need to be telling.
THIS is the heart of Elohim and His son Yahshua.
I challenge you to read Psalm 22 below. And as you read envision a cross, with Yahshua hanging on it, screaming out those words, in a last desperate effort to make them, us, see His heart for humanity.
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I call out by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I find no rest nor quiet.
But You are holy,
O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].
In You our fathers trusted [leaned on, relied on, and were confident];
They trusted and You rescued them.
They cried out to You and were delivered;
They trusted in You and were not disappointed or ashamed.
But I am [treated as] a worm [insignificant and powerless] and not a man;
I am the scorn of men and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh at me and mock me (Matthew 27:31);
They [insultingly] open their lips, they shake their head, saying,
“He trusted and committed himself to the Lord, let Him save him.
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.” (Matthew 27:43)
Yet You are He who pulled me out of the womb;
You made me trust when on my mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth;
From my mother’s womb You have been my God.
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near;
And there is no one to help.
Many [enemies like] bulls have surrounded me; (the bull is a symbol of the priesthood)(Mark 14:55-65)
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
They open wide their mouths against me,
Like a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, (John 19:34)
And all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax;
It is melted [by anguish] within me.
My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery;
And my [dry] tongue clings to my jaws (John 19:28) ;
And You have laid me in the dust of death.
For [a pack of] dogs have surrounded me (Gentiles, in this case Roman soldiers were referred to as dogs)(Matthew 27:27-31);
A gang of evildoers has encircled me,
They pierced my hands and my feet (Matthew 27:35).
I can count all my bones;
They look, they stare at me.
They divide my clothing among them
And cast lots for my [b]garment (Matthew 27:35-36).
But You, O Lord, do not be far from me;
O You my help, come quickly to my assistance.
Rescue my life from the sword,
My only life from the paw of the dog (the executioner).
Save me from the lion’s mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen, YOU ANSWER ME.
I will tell of Your name to my countrymen;
In the midst of the congregation I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence], praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him.
Fear Him [with submissive wonder], all you descendants of Israel.
For He has not despised nor detested the suffering of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him;
But when he cried to Him for help, He listened.
My praise will be of You in the great assembly.
I will pay my vows [made in the time of trouble] before those who [reverently] fear Him.
The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations will bow down and worship before You,
For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust (the dead) will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
Posterity will serve Him;
They will tell of the Lord to the next generation.
They will come and declare His righteousness
To a people yet to be born—that He has done it [and that it is finished].
His name is Salvation.
And He did this for me and you.
As we enter into this upcoming holiday season, I challenge you to ignore all the noise and distractions, and to focus, really focus, on Messiah’s love story to you. It’s all about Him and what He was willing to do for you.
Does this Truth change the way you understand and proclaim the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection? We would love to hear how this revelation may have changed your worship of Messiah.
*Psalm 22, Psalm 23, and Psalm 24 are called the Messianic Trilogy, each capturing a moment in the reign of Yeshua; Psalm 22 is the Suffering Servant (His Ministry), Psalm 23 is the Good Shepherd (His Gospel), Psalm 24 is the Reigning King (His Kingdom).*