118: Psalms 69:20

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365 Prophecies: Prophecy 118

The Messiah will bear the reproach* of one crucified.
(*disapproval, disappointment)

Old Testament Prediction:

Psalms 69:20 “Reproach has broken my heart, And I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Hebrews 13:12-13 “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Hebrews 11:25-26 “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”

Application:

To be crucified for crimes that you have committed was considered the most hideous of deaths. Those who witnessed the execution of a condemned man by crucifixion were often repulsed and sickened at the horror and suffering they observed. The Old Testament made it clear that anyone who was hanged on a tree was cursed by God (Prophecy 46).

Deuteronomy 21:23 “…his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher, once described crucifixion in the most graphic of texts.

“Can anyone be found who would prefer wasting away in pain dying limb by limb, or letting out his life drop by drop, rather than expiring once for all? Can any man by found willing to be fastened to the accursed tree, long sickly, already deformed, swelling with ugly wounds on shoulders and chest, and drawing the breath of life amid long drawn-out agony? He would have many excuses for dying even before mounting the cross.”[1]

Any person who was crucified was considered the lowest of the human species. The fact that this 118th prophecy of the Messiah describes Him bearing the reproach of crucifixion and all the suffering that this form of execution contained, is astounding. This was the purpose for which Jesus came to earth—to take the curse that was ours and remove it forever. Sin and death are the two abiding curses that have plagued all mankind for over 6,000 years.

When Adam listened to Eve and disobeyed God, to eat of the fruit that He forbade—from that moment on, the curse was upon all men.

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.

Jesus’ purpose in allowing Himself to be crucified was to take this curse that had been ours, and place it upon Himself. Jesus became our curse, thereby removing it from us forever.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)…

How the Messiah felt during the process of being condemned to death and crucified for the sins of the world is the subject and description of this 118th Old Testament Prophecy:

Psalms 69:20 “Reproach has broken my heart, And I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none.

If we will meditate for a moment on the words of this verse and consider how we might feel if these words were to come from our lips, we can gain some understanding as to what it was like for Jesus, as He took upon Himself the reproach of the cross and the immense agony of suffering for our sins.

“Reproach has broken my heart…

The disapproval and disappointment of all those who watched Jesus die, not knowing at that time that He was being put to death for the sins of those who stood nearby, as well as those of the entire world. We might forget that although Jesus is a human being like us, He is also God who has never known sin or death before. Bearing the heavy burden of our reproach and curse was overwhelming anguish for Jesus.

How did it feel?

When we have been falsely accused of things that we know we did not do, and people look at us with disgust, or they refuse to speak to us at all—our heart breaks with intense despair.

I have spoken of a time when I was falsely accused of things that I did not do. When I would see my friends at the local Walmart or grocery store, they would turn down an aisle before they arrived at my location. If I should come upon one of them suddenly, they would look past me, as if I was not there. I would often feel intense pain and anguish when this happened. I knew that I had not done what they imagined, but it was impossible to change how they felt about me once they had made up their mind, that I was guilty. To this very day, I bear the broken-heartedness and loss of so many friends because someone began to spread vicious and untrue rumors. When I read of the anguish that Jesus suffered at having been accused of crimes He did not commit—when I contemplate the suffering that He endured while being arrested, accused, beaten, and crucified—I understand a fragment of what He felt. Perhaps, you have gone through a similar set of circumstances, so that you can also identify with Jesus’ reproach. I count it today as a great privilege to have suffered in some small measure, in the same manner that my Lord suffered. His suffering was to bear my sin; my small suffering was for the purpose of allowing me to understand a portion of what Jesus felt when He died for me.

We should understand that the reproach Jesus bore, when He went to the cross for us, affected Him in far greater intensity than reproach affects us. We are all sinners; we are used to sin and how it often devastates our emotions. Jesus was without sin; He had never felt the effects of sin upon His Soul, prior to the time when He became sin for us. At the moment that Jesus took our sins and bore them in His body, the reproach and hatred that people had for Him was felt by Him in exponential volume.

He was sinless and perfect; and suddenly, the wight of the world’s suffering was thrust upon Him. The horror of this moment is incalculable and unimaginable.


NOTES:
[1] A letter by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Dialogue 3:2.2, (“Contemptissimum putarem, si vivere vellet usque ad crucem … Est tanti vulnus suum premere et patibulo pendere districtum … Invenitur, qui velit adactus ad illud infelix lignum, iam debilis, iam pravus et in foedum scapularum ac pectoris tuber elisus, cui multae moriendi causae etiam citra crucem fuerant, trahere animam tot tormenta tracturam?” – Letter 101, 12-14)

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