Redemption Songs

Christ Our Sacrifice (Psalm 22)

Sermon Recap

In Luke 2:34-35, Simeon tells Mary, Jesus’s mother, that “a sword will pierce” her soul because of her child. Psalm 22 foretells that anguish in detail. It described the sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of his people.

1. The Abandoned Son

In Mark 15:34-37, we hear Jesus praying Psalm 22 which he is hanging on the cross. While many people have rejected God through the centuries, only Jesus was abandoned by him. But God abandoned Jesus, not because Christ had sinned, but because he took our sin on himself so he could atone for it.

2. The Cost of Atonement

Atonement means, literally, at-one-ment. We ran from God and rejected him. Christ died so that the hostility our sin created could be put to an end. His sacrifice was the costliest one ever given, as St. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” God paid the highest price possible for you, to be at-one with you. That means he will never abandon you.

3. The Hope of Faith

Faith looks back and knows that “he has done it” (Psalm 22:31); or as Jesus said in John 19:31, “It is finished.” Knowing that Christ has atoned for us is the foundation of our faith. And faith produces hope (Psalm 22:26-27) through any trial in this life, which, in turn, produces praise and worship in our hearts to God (Psalm 22:22-23).

Reflection & Application Questions

  1. Have you ever felt abandoned by someone? How did it feel?

  2. Jesus lived his whole life in perfect, loving relationship with God the Father. Then, on the cross, he was forsaken by God when he became sin for us. What do you think that was like?

  3. How could David describe Jesus’s crucifixion so accurately 1,000 years before it happened?

  4. Psalm 22:4 says that God is “enthroned on the praises” of his people. If God were to make a throne from the praise that you give him, what kind of throne would it be? Why?

  5. What does it mean to you that God paid way more for your atonement than he paid for anything else in the universe? We are surprised when a painting is sold for $450m. Are we shocked that God would pay an even higher price to save us—the blood of his own Son?

  6. If God has paid the highest price in the universe to redeem you, do you think he will ever leave you or forsake you?

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Christ Our Priest (Psalm 110)

Sermon Recap

The concept of a priest has changed a lot in today’s culture. Most people learn about what they do from movies and television rather than actual experience. It’s even odder to envision the role of priests in the Old Testament. Our psalm today is a Davidic song that foreshadowed a priest nobody in Israel’s context could comprehend but would become our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

1. We All Need a Priest

Christmas is a time of year where the holiday messages conflict with struggles that fill many of our hearts. To deal with this dissonance, many of us look to secular priests to intercede for us. For some, it’s the bartender, for others, it’s the yoga instructor, for others, it’s our own children. King David recognized his need for a priest, different and greater than the ones that existed in his day.

2. We All Need a Perfect Priest

The problem is most of the secular priests we seek out aren’t perfect enough for us. They can never truly satisfy our need for meaning, hope, and purpose. David sensed this in his own life. This is why he prayed for a priest in the order of Melchizedek, one who would also be a king who would eternally mediate for his people.

3. We Need Jesus Our Priest

Jesus fulfills David’s prophecy in our psalm. He is able to be our perfect priest because he is without sin, with no beginning nor end, eternally interceding for us at the right hand of God. He is the only priest who became the perfect sacrifice for us. This is why he satisfies the longing of our hearts to find peace for our anxieties, hope in our difficulties, and joy in our sadness.

Reflection & Application Questions

  1. When you think of a priest today, what do you think of? How different is that from the image of the Old Testament priest?

  2. Who are your secular priests? Who do you search out and go to when you feel guilty, sad, or broken? Who do you go to in order to find comfort and peace?

  3. Why do secular priests fail us? Why can they never truly fulfill what we need them to do?

  4. Why does it matter that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek rather than the normal Old Testament priests we read about? What differences are there?

  5. Why do we need Christ to be our priest? How different are our lives when we look to him to intercede?

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Christ Our King (Psalm 2)

Sermon Recap

Psalm 2 foretells of the coming Messiah, the Christ who would be God’s King over his people.

1. You Need a Better King

Psalm 2:1-3 tells of a world that is determined to have a king other than God, a world in rebellion against him. Whatever we love most in the world is our king. And you serve what you love. The things other than God that we set on the throne of our heart will ultimately hurt us. But God promises a better King.

2. Christ Is the Better King

Psalm 2:6-9 shows that God’s King would be identified with him. His throne is on Zion, where God’s temple was. He would be called God’s Son. Christ is the better King. Because he provides the peace that no other king in this world can provide.

3. Take Refuge in the King

What you love gives you peace. If Christ is our King, if he rules our heart, we are promised peace in this passage. Psalm 2:12 invites us to take refuge in Christ. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and he alone can bear the full weight of our hope, expectation, longing, and desire and give us peace in return.

Reflection & Application Questions

  1. Psalm 2:1-3 describes an entire world in rebellion against God. How have you contributed to rebellion in the world against God?

  2. If it’s true that you serve what you love, what are you most tempted to serve besides Christ? Why?

  3. How is Christ a better King than whatever you are tempted to love instead?

  4. Christ Jesus, God’s King, died for your rebellion so you don’t have to. How does this demonstrate his goodness? How does the cross and resurrection prove he is more powerful than any earthly ruler?

  5. Where do you look for peace besides Christ? Why won’t it provide ultimate peace?

  6. In what way do you need to take refuge in Christ today? How will you do that?

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