Psalm 22: 21-22
John 20: 14-18
I am sure what our brother has said has touched our hearts tonight. This scripture in Psalm 22, “Save me from the lion’s mouth. Yea, from the horns of the buffaloes hast thou answered me”, is, prophetically, the Lord speaking on the cross. Mr Darby said regarding the first cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that He 'could not be heard', Synopsis vol 2 p88. Heaven was watching that scene, which was shrouded in darkness to prevent men from seeing what the Saviour went through, but they were there and you have to take account of it. But God was watching that scene, and I think His heart was gladdened when He heard the second cry from the cross because it was a cry of victory. The wrath of God had been sustained and exhausted by Christ on the cross, the forsaking had finished. There was no immediate intervention by God at that time. The Lord commits His spirit to His Father. There is no immediate intervention, but the intervention came when He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. How the Father would rejoice in that. Our brother mentioned His delight in seeing the perfect Man take up the matter. Divine justice had to be met in regard to sin and sins, and Christ bore it all. Propitiation was made, and substitution was effected for those who lay a claim to Him. We often say that, but it is true. If you lay a claim to the One who was lifted up you come in for the blessing of what He has secured.
His delight, immediately on rising from the grave, was to express these very words which are expressed in this Psalm more than a thousand years before He came into manhood, “my brethren”; “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee”. It struck me as our brother was speaking that in bringing the Lord out of death the Father’s delight was in it, “raised up from among the dead by the glory of the Father”, Rom 6: 4. The Father’s affections were in it. He selected one blessed Man to raise Him from among the dead, and almost the first words of that blessed Man as out of death are, “go to my brethren”, John 20: 17. There are a few prior remarks in this passage. But I do not think there had been any other words from Christ on being raised from the dead before those in this chapter. It is understood that Mary was there first at the tomb - I know she goes back and brings Peter and John, but she remains there. She gets the first message from Christ, the very first words He said. When He says, “Woman” He may have had in His mind the joy He had in the anticipation of the assembly secured out of His death, but the first words He says regarding this great matter of fruit out of His death were, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God”. It is a fulfilment of the Psalm. That cry that was heard when He was on the cross before He went into the grave, before He gave up His spirit; the cry of victory, everything had been secured for God and the basis laid. The matter of atonement had to be completed by Christ going into the grave. He “died for our sins according to the Scriptures”, and “he was buried” and “he was raised ... according to the Scriptures”, 1 Cor: 15, 16. He was buried - the matter had to be completed in the death of Christ, signifying that the man who had sinned was out of sight before God for ever. Now as out of death He expresses those very words we read in the Psalm, “my brethren”; “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee”.
He uses that expression to Mary first of all. Before He deals with Peter, before He deals with any other, before He appears to His own, He says, “Go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God”. The whole matter secured in view of the service of God was encapsulated in these words, “Go to my brethren”, persons He had relationships with out of death, persons who are viewed in this section as coming out of the death of Christ. There is no past history. History has all gone. There is no past history apparent here. It is out of the death of Christ, and that is where they find their origin. He says, ‘Go to such persons’, persons who are in the divine eye, the divine purpose. The whole area of divine purpose can now be opened up because Christ has laid the basis in His death, finished everything on the moral side, making way for divine purpose in persons who belong to the order of humanity to which Christ belongs, “For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren”, Heb 2: 11. What a wonderful thing to grasp hold of, that the Sanctifier and sanctified are all of one! We belong to that order of humanity out of the death of Christ. We do not belong to the Adam order from the divine side. We belong to the order of humanity that is out of the death of Christ. So “he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one” - such a company! He can make known the Father’s name to them, the name of God to them, “my Father and your Father … my God and your God”. We are loved with the same love that Christ is loved with and we love Christ with the same love with which the Father loves Him. What a company of persons we belong to, dignified, set apart for divine service.
These were a few thoughts that sprang from our brother’s remarks. May the Lord bless His word.
14th August 2007