TODAY’S READING: PSALMS 81-88
According to John 19:30, the last words of Jesus on the cross were, “It is finished.”
What was finished?
In Psalm 83, the enemies of God are making an uproar. They are laying crafty plans against the people of God, trying to wipe out Israel as a nation. Therefore, the psalm starts with a cry that God would no longer be silent and that he would no longer hold his peace or be still.
In this we see Jesus as he was the true son of God, the true Israel. All the enemies – the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places – were roaring against Jesus, plotting together how to destroy him. These enemies were determined to wipe out Jesus so that he, and God, would be remembered no more.
Psalm 83:6-11 lists 17 enemies that come against Israel:
So, these were the enemies that came against Jesus, but he defeated all of them. It’s interesting that there were 17 enemies defeated.
Genesis 7:11 says, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven of were opened.”
This took place before the Hebrew calendar changed when Israel left Egypt in the exodus at the passover. Therefore, what was the second month in Genesis 7:11 is now the eighth month.
Further, the flood, which was the judgment of man’s evil and wicked heart, which was completely given over to violence, began on the 17th day of the month.
Genesis 8:3-4 says, “At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.”
What day is the seventeenth of the seventh month?
Remember, Genesis 8 was before the Hebrew calendar changed after the exodus. If we do the conversion, then the seventh month becomes the first month, the month Nissan, the month of the passover. And, the seventeenth day becomes the day that Jesus was resurrected and rose from the grace.
That’s why the ark, a picture of Jesus, landed, overcoming the flood, on the seventeenth day of the month. The number 17 then symbolizes Christ’s victory over judgment, condemnation, destruction, over the enemy that comes in like a flood, and the rulers of this world. Seventeen is Christ’s victory of the enemies.
So, we see that the enemies were defeated by Jesus on the cross. Colossians 2:13-15 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespases and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to an open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
The psalmist cries out for God to no longer be silent and no longer hold his peace or be still. Now, we see that God did this through Jesus on the cross. The cross is where the enemies were defeated. Jesus, God, on the cross is what it looks like when God is no longer silter, when God no longer holds his peace and is no longer still.
Why do we see 17 enemies defeated by Jesus on the cross in Psalm 83?
In Daniel 7, the beasts that come to attack the kingdom of God have seven heads and ten horns. In Revelation 13:1, John saw a beast rising out of the sea “with ten horns and seven heads.”
10 + 7 = 17
Jesus overcomes, gets the victory of this beast. Jesus was judged on the cross, but it was the defeat of Satan. Judgment becomes victory.
The day of atonement occurs in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month.
10 + 7 = 17
The day of atonement is a day of affliction, judgment, that ultimately becomes a day of victory.
Finally, look at Romans 8:35, 37-39.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
- or distress,
- or persecution,
- or famine,
- or nakedness,
- or danger,
- or sword?
No, all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither
- death nor
- life, nor
- angels nor
- ruler, nor
- things present nor
- things to come, nor
- powers, nor
- height nor
- depth, nor
- anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
7 + 10 = 17
Nothing of the seven or the ten can separate us from Christ.
And, if you go back to Psalm 83, then you will see that the writer has two groups of enemies. The first is 10 enemies to be defeated and the second is seven enemies that have been defeated.
Why are seven and 10 significant here?
The number seven speaks of perfection or completion. The number 10 speaks to testimony. So, we see in the defeat of the 17 enemies by Jesus on the cross the completion of the testimony. The cross is where Jesus fully revealed the Father to everyone.
“It is finished.”
When Jesus said “It is finished” he meant that the revelation of the Father had been completed. Oh, I know that it also means that the law was fulfilled. But, what was the purpose of the law? Among other things, it was meant to reveal Jesus and God. In Luke 24, Jesus told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus that all the law and the prophets witnessed to him.
It’s very important to note how Psalm 83 ends. For the end of the psalm tells us the purpose, the point, of what Jesus was doing on the cross. He was revealing God. But, why?
Was Jesus trying to show everyone that this would be their fate – to suffer as he did on the cross – if they did not believe in him? That God would destroy them if they did not believe?
However, on the cross Jesus was revealing the fullness of our wickedness, not God’s, in that we would destroy the perfect, the innocent, son of God. And, when we looked upon the son of God on the cross with all of our wickedness and our evil put upon him – all of our sin – then we would be filled with shame and disgrace (Psalm 83: 16, 17).
But, the shame and disgrace we would feel was “that they may seek your name, O Lord…that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:16, 18)
The cross revealed our wrath not God’s so that we would seek God’s name, that is character. Because of the shame of the cross, our shame, we would know that God is nothing like what we did to Jesus on the cross. God’s name and character is completely different than that.
“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5
“God is love. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” – 1 John 4:8, 18
“If we receive the testimony of mean, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” – 1 John 5:9, 11