Dr. Dan Hayden •

When a person is particularly evil, we will sometimes say, “He’s nothing but trouble.” Well, that’s our word for today – trouble.

Christ’s death on the cross was ultimately the thwarting of evil, but as He hung in pain, dying for the sins of the world, evil gathered itself around Him. In fact, there was a concentration of evil at the Hill of the Skull that day – unparalleled in the history of the world. Psalm 22 gives us insight into all of this, including what the Savior was thinking as He faced this onslaught of evil. The Messiah was praying – talking to the Father – when He said “Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help” (22:11).

You see, as the fulfillment of this Messianic Psalm, Jesus was feeling all alone in His titanic struggle with evil. Even the Father had forsaken Him. Trouble was near – in fact, all around as He continued to pray for help, even though He knew help would not come.

The word trouble is a word that literally means “tightness.” It comes from a root that refers to a narrow, tight place, as when an adversary would crowd in upon a victim. Jesus was in a tight strait, as evil crowded in upon Him.

There was the mocking, sneering crowd; and there were the rough, crude Roman soldiers. But there was far more than that closing in upon Him, for all of our sins were being placed upon Jesus. Additionally, Satan and his demonic host were allowed to do their worst. The angelic hags cackled as the demons coiled to strike – their fangs dripping with venom. Death was there gathering its shroud to encompass our Savior, and Satan was posed to pierce Him through. Jesus was in our place, dying for our sins. Indeed, trouble was near.

Now you know the real meaning of the word. Say – are you part of the trouble? Or have you trusted Christ as your Savior?