‘He Has Done It!’

My Dear Shepherds,

Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, is famous for two things: all the celebrities buried there and its art, especially a 195’ x 45’ panoramic painting of the crucifixion displayed in a 600-seat theater called the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection. In hourly programs the painting is gradually revealed and highlighted through a kind of documentary.

A second huge painting The Resurrection, (70’ x 51’), completes the program. Christ stands at the left, just beyond the empty tomb, his hands extended toward a bright vision of innumerable saints of every generation, all indebted to him for their salvation.

Psalm 22 is sort of like Forest Lawn’s Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection. The first twenty-one verses give language to Christ’s desolation, pain, and humiliation on the cross while the last ten verses serve as his resurrection anthem, praising the Father for the “great assembly” whom he redeemed.

Through this song, the Messiah celebrates his fulfilled vows to God at a feast of praise attended by all his people. They include the descendants of Israel, the poor who in their humility sought the LORD, and “all the families of the nations.”

All of them assemble for what John described as the wedding supper of the Lamb. They are clothed in fine linen, bright and clean, “the righteous acts of God’s holy people.” At the same time, the many-splendored cultures of the world are also on display, cleansed from all that had corrupted them in this life.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive. 
(Ps. 22:29)

“The rich of the earth” don’t generally get much respect in Scripture (if this is referring to the rich of this life), yet even they are represented at the feast, as if to say, “God can save anyone!” I’m not sure what to make of this but I know one thing for sure—none of them bought their way to that table! They are humbled and grateful to sit alongside brothers and sisters who were once dirt-poor and who even gave up on life itself. All of them—all of us—utterly, entirely, joyfully indebted to the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
 (Ps. 22:30-31)

Had it not been for Christ’s death and resurrection, the high hopes of Abraham’s heirs would have been for naught. All the earth would have reverted to Babylon till its dying day. Imagine a world without one hymn to the glory of God, not one testimony to God’s grace, and not one soul invited to the Table. Everything undone.

So much was wrong with hearts, with the world’s systems, with creation itself. Satan reigned and death inevitably had the last word. But then all the promises of God, every jot and tittle of his law, every vision of his prophets, converged in the cross where the last mortal words of God’s Messiah declared the almost incomprehensible salvation miracle: “It is finished!”

Three days later, with his back to the tomb, the triumphant Lord looked out across time to see his church, dressed in blood-washed white, all praising the Father. The descendants of Jacob would honor him, the poor would eat and be satisfied, the nations would worship him, and future generations would proclaim God’s righteousness.

And Jesus Christ, the first immortal human being, would shout to the highest heavens, “He has done it!”

Be ye glad!

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