Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Scarlet Worm

As I came to verse 6 in my study of Psalm 22, I was very excited to find a parallel to Christ and the cross.  It seemed especially poignant to me as I studied tonight, on this eve of Resurrection Day. 

Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.”

We know that much of Psalm 22 is prophetic to Christ and His suffering on the cross.  Some scholars say He was meditating on Psalm 22 as He suffered for our sin, and that is why He quotes from it on the cross.  I think this is certainly a possibility! 

While Jesus may be calling Himself a worm to signify the low point to which He had stooped, lower even than becoming a man, this worm has a definite picture for us!  The Hebrew word used here for worm is not the primary word for “worm” in the Old Testament.  In fact, it is usually translated scarlet, because this female worm was crushed to form a scarlet dye.   The reference to “worm” indicating specifically the female of a certain species of worm. This description from Henry Morris may help to explain why:

When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might ‘bring many sons unto glory’ (Heb. 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through him! Psalm 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isaiah 1:18)” (Henry Morris. Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Baker Book House, 1985, p.73)

Truly this is a great picture/parallel of Christ shedding His crimson blood to wash our sins away!

Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I’ve been doing the Doorposts Busy Mama Bible Study in Psalm 22 this month.  Once again, life with little kiddos (and a week of sickness) has put me farther behind than I like.  But today I studying the concept in verse 1 that Jesus was forsaken by God.  Can you imagine what it would be like to be God’s chosen Son, bearing the sin and guilt of the entire world, and on top of it to have your Father look away – to forsake you – as you paid the penalty for sin?  I cannot fathom it.

I read from Spurgeon’s Treasury of David on the idea of forsaking.  I was struck with this thought…

“This was the startling cry of Golgotha: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani. The Jews mocked, but the angels adored when Jesus cried this exceeding bitter cry.

“First, our Lord's faith beams forth and deserves our reverent imitation; he keeps his hold upon his God with both hands and cries twice… He knows the Lord to be the all sufficient support and succour of his spirit, and therefore appeals to him in the agony of grief, but not in the misery of doubt.

[As if Jesus is thinking] I can understand why traitorous Judas and timid Peter should be gone, but thou, my God, my faithful friend, how canst thou leave me? This is worst of all, yea, worse than all put together.

“Hell itself has for its fiercest flame the separation of the soul from God.  Christ's desertion is preventive of your final desertion. Because he was forsaken for a time you shall not be forsaken for ever. For he was forsaken for you. It is every way as much for the dear Son of God, the darling delight of his soul, to be forsaken of God for a time, as if such a poor inconsiderable thing as thou art shouldest be cast off to eternity. Now, this being equivalent and borne in thy room, must needs give thee the highest security in the world that God will never finally withdraw from thee.”  (Emphasis mine)

Forsaken.  I am saved by grace, through faith, because Jesus paid the penalty for my sin on the cross.  I can be forgiven because of His sacrifice.  Because He was willing to be forsaken of the Father in order to bear my sin.  That is what we will celebrate in the glory of the resurrection on Sunday.

Forsaken for You jpg

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