‘Do not be far from me for trouble is near and there is no one to help’ Psalm 22:11
If Jesus quoted the whole of Psalm 22 on the cross, verse 11,
‘there is no one to help’ is brutally descriptive.
Jesus was not friendless at Calvary, but he had no assistance to alleviate his horrific, traumatic slaughter.
If your hands and feet are nailed against pieces of cross shaped timber and you’re hoisted in public for everyone to see, you need all the help you can get. And no help was forthcoming.
Where are the friends Jesus made growing up in the world?
Is there no pal from his cradle days to object to the barbaric crucifixion? If there was he didn’t step forward with a character reference.
In the thirty-three years which Jesus lived, did he attend the temple, and the synagogues and many social functions without making a single friend to speak up for him at the Jewish Sanhedrin trial? No such character reference was provided for Jesus. If there was one it wasn’t allowed in court to challenge the false evidence and false accusations of the leader’s.
One member of the Council only, Joseph of Arimathea, opposed the Sanhedrin’s decision, Luke 23:50-51. Joseph was one of those people who couldn’t help but for now let’s continue to consider the people who wouldn’t help.
What about the contacts the Lord made through his earlier working career? The people he did odd jobs for? Where are the carpenter’s customers, the suppliers, the contractors and the clients which a family business establishes? Did not one of them have a good word to say to the Jewish Council on Christ’s behalf?
What about the Lord’s connections which were established over three and a half years itinerate preaching? They too are absent. ‘There is no one to help’ These six words,
‘There is no one to help’ highlights three absent groups of people. There are those who,
Forbidden to help!
No matter which group you’re in, the end result’s the same.
‘There is no one to help’
Gone, are the four thousand people who Jesus treated to a slap-up meal Matthew 16:10 Missing also are the five thousand Jesus fed when they too were hungry, Matthew 16:9. Nine thousand people grouped together and dined out with Jesus. But such a large number never grouped together to protest the cruel and unfair way in which Christ was being persecuted.
Where’s the centurion who’s, servant’s life Jesus saved? This centurion was praised by the Lord for having great faith Luke 7:1-10. He’s an officer in the Roman army, in charge of one hundred soldiers. He’s a man of authority. Jesus did this centurion a big favour by saving his terminally ill friend. Certainly someone the centurion cared about. Yet not one of the centurion’s soldiers had been mobilised to Christ’s defence. We sometimes forget the favours God has done for us throughout our lives. We want him to bless us or get us out of a crisis and he does. But when it’s our turn to do something for him, we don’t.
Others too were not prepared to help Jesus and keep him off the cross. The Roman Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate, publicly abandoned Jesus, ‘he took water and washed his hands before the multitude’ absolving himself from the Lord’s death Mathew 27:11-26. (so, he thinks)
Gone too are those Jesus cured. Where’s the lame people who Jesus healed? Where’s the blind men who’s sight Jesus restored? Where’s the lepers who Jesus cleansed?
Some of the Lord’s closest friends are also absent. Judas wasn’t there because of his betrayal. Peter wasn’t there because of his denial.
Many people were present at Calvary. But not to help. Crowds were there in large numbers, but crowds are fickle.
‘The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed’ Mathew 27:20.
It’s amazing how quickly someone can be persuaded to put someone to death. If you’re part of a crowd you’re more vulnerable than you think. Many have become murderers simply because they joined a gang.
I’d like to think if I was spectating at Calvary I’d do something about it. But I wouldn’t. Unlike Joseph of Arimathea he couldn’t I use the words, ‘I wouldn’t’ for myself. Why would I not help Jesus?
I was 25 years old before I got a conscience about the Lord’s death. Up until then it didn’t trouble me that Jesus was crucified. In fact, I used to make jokes about it. I thought it was funny. I didn’t read the Bible. I didn’t go to church. I wouldn’t get involved with Christianity.
I did however acknowledge a historical Jesus and accept that Jesus existed. I didn’t deny the existence of Alexander the Great, Shakespeare or Napoleon so neither would I deny the existence of Jesus. But I certainly had no time for Jesus as my Lord and personal saviour. Therefore, I know I wouldn’t get involved in helping Jesus at Calvary.
Maybe I’d be like the centurion at the cross, who saw how Jesus died and declared,
‘surely this man was the Son of God’ Mark 15:39.
Was the centurion a hero for saying this? I’m not sure? Was he born again through this experience? I’m not sure. Did he follow Christ after witnessing this event? I’m not sure. Yes, he confirms who Jesus really is, but the comment also smacks of a genuine sympathetic social response. It’s similar to a Facebook post,
‘RIP Jesus of Nazareth, you were truly the Son of God’
Maybe I’d tweet something like,
‘I’m not a religious person but no man should be killed for doing good, or healing on the Sabbath or blaspheming. Crucifixion should be reserved only for people who murder or commit more serious crimes, retweet if you agree’
Sorry to say I think this is as far as it goes for me. I wouldn’t have been there to help Jesus in any meaningful way at Calvary. Thankfully it was not too late for things to change and I could accept Jesus as my saviour. Find out more https://wp.me/P9kkri-jN
I’m mindful that there were some who couldn’t help Jesus, even if they wanted to help. I’ve already mentioned one of the good guys, Joseph of Arimathea. The Jewish Council refused to listen to him.
What about Jesus’ broken hearted, mother Mary? And the devoted disciple who Jesus loved? John 19:25-27.
The two of them couldn’t overpower the blood thirsty mobs or defend the Lord against the Jewish leaders nor could they save Jesus from the brutality of the Roman soldiers.
It’s not that Mary and John didn’t care it’s rather they couldn’t help. It’s like being at the hospital bedside of a terminally ill relative taking their final breaths. You’d help them if you could and make them live, but you can’t help. You don’t have the power to intervene. Nevertheless, you’re there by their side loving them.
Jesus knew some people at the foot of the cross loved him. Mark 15:40-41. It didn’t take away the pains of hell which Jesus suffered. But it was a comforting love for the saviour as those at the foot of the cross were seeing an all time victory of victories which no one else could acheieve. The love people had for Christ enabled them to witness first hand, the defeat of sin, satan, demons and death. This is why it’s important to love the Lord God with all your heart, all strength and all your mind? Loving God changes your perspective on the crucifixion. It opens your inner eyes to see who Jesus really is and why he died the way he did at Calvary.
What Mary and John couldn’t do was doable for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just because people couldn’t help, didn’t mean that Jesus wouldn’t be victorious.
Just because people wouldn’t help didn’t mean Jesus wasn’t in control of events either.
Forbidden to help
On the night Jesus was betrayed, and arrested he said to Peter, drop your knife don’t bother fighting for me,
‘Do you think I cannot call on my Father and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels’? Mathew 26:53.
Heaven has unlimited power. God is omnipotent. The good angels have both the power and authority to rescue Jesus. But at this time, on this occasion the angels didn’t have permission from the Lord to get involved. ‘There is no one to help’ includes those forbidden to help.
Rick Renner has done the maths https://renner.org/twelve-legions-of-angels/.
12 legions of mighty celestial beings were ready to intervene at the Lord’s command.
That is 72,000 angels ready to assist at the Lord’s request. No wonder Jesus commanded Peter to put his knife away.
Isaiah 37:36 records that one single angel killed 185,000 men. A combined strength in a legion of 6,000 angels could destroy 1,110,000,000 men. (One billion, one hundred and ten million men).
Multiply this number 185,000 by twelve legions, 72,000 angels available to Jesus. The Lord has at his disposal enough power to destroy 13,320, 000,000, men. (Thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million) More than twice the number of the world’s population. God has the ultimate superior weapons of mass destruction. God’s angels and forces are inumerable Job 25:3 Hebrews 12:22. Find out more. My blog, 11 facts about angels you may not know https://wp.me/p9kkri-137
Why didn’t they get involved? The angels were forbidden to intervene. I’m sure they’ll be utilized at some point in the future when the Lord returns. But for Calvary the Lord forbade their intervention. Jesus made himself completely vulnerable on the cross. To the point that,
‘There is no one to help’
They wouldn’t help, they couldn’t help, and were forbidden to help.