Ever wonder why?
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
We often have questions! “How did he/she?”, “How come they…?”, “How did it happen…?”, “I thought…?”, “For real??? You must be kidding me!” Or, “I never knew…”, “Can you believe…”
Even more with ‘saltier language is uttered! We were ALL born with a cause! Yours?
Take time to think on this! Why am I? The answer you may reach if this is given much thought may surprise you!
What is life about? Why is life?
Actually, I should ask “Do you have a testimony?” What will your testimony be? Will you be remembered with joy, respect, wonderment? Or will you fade away?
What “individual” contribution to life is yours to claim?
The AWESOME thing is king David! He penned and sang his way through Psalms.
Psalm 22 is revealing! The Word, quoted from The Word in words that His ancestor was led to ink!
In the most general sense, Psalm 22 is about a person who is crying out to God to save him from the taunts and torments of his enemies, and (in the last ten verses) thanking God for rescuing him.
Again, notice that The Word (John 1) states The Word.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?”
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
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 bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all include the crucifixion event in their own slightly different ways. None of the Gospels in the New Testament mentions whether Jesus was nailed or tied to the cross. However, the Gospel of John reports wounds in the risen Jesus’s hands.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
“And 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.”
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare Your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise You.
If Scripture didn’t say it, I wouldn’t either. But it’s true. In four places in Scripture we read that Jesus, the Son of God himself, raised his voice in worship.1
Which is immediately confusing on one level. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with singing, just that I imagine our Savior much better suited as the silent recipient of adoration and worship (Revelation 5:6–14). But he also sings. And the only way to understand why Jesus sings is to briefly walk through all four passages (here split into three categories).
First, Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 are two parallel texts picturing Jesus “singing a song of praise.”
Both passages are brief. We read that Jesus sang a hymn with the disciples at the conclusion of the Lord’s Supper. It was just before he set out to pray on the Mount of Olives. In their fellowship, Jesus lifted up his voice and sang a hymn, a customary finale to a Passover meal together. And that’s it. The biblical writers have little more to say about it.
Very likely this song was some portion of Psalm 114–118, and very likely it was sung antiphonally, meaning Jesus led the men by singing a line, and the disciples responded by singing a “Hallelujah.” Back and forth they responsively marched through a psalm in song.2 Given the profoundly messianic lyrics, and the timing of the meal, I imagine it was a memorable evening of sober theological reflection.
But most of the details about the song and how they sung it are left unsaid.
Jesus sang. We know that much.
Second, Hebrews 2:12 pictures Jesus “singing a song of praise.”
In this next passage we find a New Testament writer quoting a line from a rich messianic psalm, Psalm 22:22. The psalm seems to be used to illustrate the solidarity of the incarnate Christ and believers.
Apparently embedded in Christ’s incarnation is his commitment to participate in community worship. And if this is true, it helps to explain his commitment to local synagogues during his ministry. But this may also help explain why Jesus sings with his disciples. At the Lord’s Supper, he raised his voice in worship of his Father, and by this he actively engaged in the disciples’ humanity. He shared their life, participating in their human experience (Hebrews 2:14).
He sang to make possible his unique, substitutionary work on the cross. Christ was not ashamed to stand beside us. He was not ashamed to become our brother (Hebrews 2:11). What inconceivable mercy that he was not ashamed to suffer and die for us! His participation with humanity qualifies him to suffer as our punitive and substitutionary sacrifice (Hebrews 2:10).
Jesus, as the perfect worshipper, sang hymns to the Father. As we will see in a moment, he continues to sing hymns to the Father. But here we need to see that Jesus sang because he is our Brother.
Third, Romans 15:9 pictures Jesus singing and playing an instrument, fulfilling the role as the Church’s chief worship leader.
In this final text, the Apostle Paul also cites from the Old Testament a line from David and his psalm of thanksgiving (Psalm 18:49). But in the Old Testament language we discover a singer engaged in more than a solo. Here the singing includes an instrument, and David takes a role similar to that of a worship leader (זָמַר). Again, a corporate theme emerges here.
Of course any Jewish worship leader could lead the Jewish nation in worship. But this worship leader has set his sights on something larger, on leading worship among all the Gentile nations. This worship leader will not sing in spite of the Gentiles, but he will sing among the Gentiles.
Paul is speaking about Christ by his reference to Psalm 18:49. The resurrected Christ is a victor and has taken his place as a global worship leader. “According to Paul’s citation, the risen Messiah confesses and praises the divine name among the Gentiles, bringing them salvation,” writes Mark Seifrid, a Bible scholar. “Behind and before the single mouth by which believing Jews and Gentiles glorify God (Romans 15:6) is the mouth of the Messiah, who makes known the name of God to them (Romans 15:9).”
So Christ fulfills a two-directional ministry as our mediator:
Jesus mediates our relationship with God (God-to-man).
Jesus mediates all our worship of God (man-to-God).
This twofold mediating work of Christ is inseparable.
God is worshipped around the globe as a result of the all-sufficient work of the resurrected Christ. In this way, Jesus is the Perfect Worshipper of his Father. And from heaven he fulfills the role of Chief Worship Leader of the global church.
Behind the corporate worship in our local church, and behind the global worship of the nations, is our mediator, our Brother, the Perfect Worshipper, and our perfect Worship Leader. We are united to Christ, and in him all our worship is brought together into one global choir to the praise of the Father.
Jesus still sings.
Can you hear him?
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
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 before Him,
Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, Amen
“That at The name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on Earth, and of those under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God The Father.”
for dominion belongs to The Lord
and He rules over the nations.
All the rich of the Earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before Him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve Him;
future generations will be told about The Lord.
They will proclaim His righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
First of all, they note that the New Testament describes the method of man’s salvation as the “righteousness of God” (Rom. 3:21, 22; 10:3; Philippians 3:9). They then note that this imputed righteousness is particularly that ofJesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 1:30).