Steve Durham—March 2, 2019

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I enjoy creation; I have my little birds, squirrels and all the little animals, I feed them all the time. I always enjoy the woods and nature that God has created for our benefit. God also tells us things with that.

There's the ant, the butterfly, and watching them we can see a lesson, a significance in the creation. God always gives us evidence of His being and presence in creation.

The title of my message is "I Am a Worm" and I've always wondered about that statement. I have an idea of what it means, but once I really started to researching it and looking into it, I was amazed at what God had laid out for us, especially in this Passover season.

One third of the Bible is prophecy, as we know, and that is God foretelling future events, but also letting us know what His plan is by the nature around us.

There are over 400 prophecies in the Old Testament dealing with the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Psa. 22 is a great prophetic chapter about the crucifixion of Christ. In the middle of these prophetic verses is this statement, and it's a real head-scratcher!

Psalm 22:1: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me, and why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?" That is a direct quote from Matt. 27:46!

Christ Himself said this while He was on the stake. Not only did He say it, but He inspired it to be written by David 1,000 years before. This is evidence that

  • the Creator
  • the Lifegiver
  • the Lawgiver
  • the Sustainer
  • the Fulfiller of prophecy
  • the Answerer of prayer
  • our Sacrifice
  • our Passover
  • the Lamb of God

inspired that to be written about Himself!

Verse 7: "All who see Me mock Me; they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying… [there are references to these in the New Testament (Matt. 27:39)] …'He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him!'" (vs 7-8). That was the Pharisees talking about Jesus in Matt. 27:43).

Verse 18: "They divide My garments among them and cast lots upon My vesture." (found in John 19:23).

The connection between Psa. 22 and the New Testament are more than coincidental. Christ did this on purpose for our benefit, and for the benefit for everyone that came before and will come in the future.

'Give us evidence of Him being the Creator'? of His purpose? of the master plan that God the Father and Jesus Christ—the Almighty and the Logos—decided from the foundation of the physical world.

There is a book called The Passover Plot by Hugh J. Schonfield. It tells about how difficult it would be for somebody to plan their death, and have all the things happen that happened to Christ and around Him, and that were written in the Old Testament. It would have been impossible to do.

Psa. 22 is a great prophetic chapter and this is stuck right in the middle:

Verse 6: "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men and despised by the people."

We can pretty well guess just from the words, not delving into it, that this was a reproach of men, they were casting their doubts on Christ, and their epitaphs. It wasn't a very good place to be during the crucifixion at that period of time, from Passover, through the Garden, through the evening when He was scourged and then tried, illegally, and then the next day.

  • What did Christ mean by this unusual statement?
  • What did it mean "…I am a worm…"?

We can get an idea of what it might have meant, but how can we gain insight and encouragement as we draw close to the Passover, because that's what Christ wants us to do. He wants us to know and understand what that meant, by the nature and the creation, and by observing this worm.

Again, from the foundation of the world They set this master plan, and They call it a mystery, then revealed it to us, to those who have God's Holy Spirit, who have been created, called and chosen. Those who choose to accept Christ life, death, sacrifice, the blood, the forgiveness of sins, and the repentance that is necessary. The hands laid on and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. To go through that process!

God does not leave us without evidence of His plan and His presence.

Before we get into the actual life and death of the worm, which will be the core of the message. I would like to set this up with some Scriptures about how it relates beforehand.

Mark 4:11: "And He said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but to those who are without, all things are done in parables."

Ephesians 3:9: "And that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery… [the plan of God] …that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, according to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 9-11).

Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made… [the worm, the butterfly, the ant, etc.] …—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse."

That's the reason why, so the world will be without excuse, though the world goes on blindly. But we have eyes to see and ears to hear. We have a Scripture that we need to pay really good attention to as the Passover comes on and really getting into why Christ inspired that to be written by David.

The mysteries of God and what He is doing are revealed in His creation and Holy Days; they go together. You have the worm and the Passover and what all that means. They give us encouragement and hope. The blood of Christ, the body of Christ—which we see in the wine and the bread—His sacrifice for sin and redemption of mankind, this is what He wanted us to see in Psalm 22:6[transcriber's correction] when He talked about the worm.

What do think of when you think of a worm? When I first read that years ago I thought of how I like to go fishing, and I would go out and dig the earthworms out of the ground. We'd water the backyard and let it set for a while and then go and pull up big juicy earthworms.

Or may be you think of a grub. That's a common worm, but that's not what Psa. 22:6 is talking about; the Hebrew word there is Tola`a`th' meaning a crimson or scarlet worm; scientific name: 'kermes illicis.' This worm is not like your long worm that you would see, like an earthworm, it's a small pea-like worm, actually very round and it's about the size of a pearl or a pea, and it's red, crimson, even to a deeper red, purple; that's very significant.

The significance of the color in God's Word is amazing! The covenant of eternal life is based on the blood, which is red. The life is in the blood! The death of a testator, the blood is being shed and covering our sins.

Isaiah 1:18: "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are as scarlet… [that's how God sees sins] …they shall be as white as snow… [How can sins (red) become white?] …though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.'"

Rev. 1 describes Christ, and His hair being like wool (white). It goes on and describes Him! The idea of red or scarlet—the color of blood—and the significance that it has, remember the Crimson worm!

Hebrews 9:19: "Because after Moses had spoken every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and he sprinkled both the book of the covenant itself and all the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.' And in the same manner, he sprinkled with blood the tabernacle, too, and all the vessels of service. Now, almost all things are purified with blood according to the priestly law, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" (vs 19-22).

Everything that God had given to Israel and that pertained to God, also had blood significantly in its makeup and purpose.

Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood…."

The blood of Christ works in many powerful ways to bring eternal life. That was physical system and nation: physical things, temple, high priest. Our hope is in a spiritual counterpart to those things that were physical.

So, the blood of Christ works in a powerful way to bring eternal life to those who accept that sacrifice and that blood. The life a Crimson worm pictures this for us; very significant. God uses the color from the dye of the Crimson worm in many way to remind us of Christ's sacrifice. After the worm dies to birth a family, something amazing takes place for a period of three days.

The worm can be scraped from the tree, and we'll get into how they get to the tree. The crimson jell can be used to make a dye. It is dried and then ground into a purple powder. It was highly prized and very valuable back then and used by the elite, the kingly class, the nobility. It was very expensive, and used as tribute to the Roman army and excepted as payment for many years.

The scarlet thread, as well, which was used in clothing, rugs and robes. It was sort after, the color red. So is the blood of Christ, and without it we don't have life.

Sidebar: It was said of Jesus' robe that it was scarlet. There's a lot of up and down and yes and no and controversy about it.

John 19:2: "And after platting a crown of thorns, the soldiers put it on His head; and they threw a purple cloak over Him."

Matthew 27:28: "And they stripped Him and put a scarlet cloak around Him."

One commentary says that purple was the process of grinding, and scarlet was the color. Either way, it had something to do with the Crimson worm. Also, remember that the soldiers cast lots for the robe, because it was very, very fine clothing/fabric, and would just make sense that it was colored with the crimson dye.

Colossians 2:17[transcriber's correction]: "Which are a foreshadow of the things that are coming, but the Body of Christ." The physical pictures the spiritual. Of course, the tabernacle and the many thing such as the veil, curtains, the high priests and all the articles all picture a counterpart.

Exodus 26:1: "And you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine-twined bleached linen, and blue and purple and scarlet. You shall make them with cherubim, of the work of a cunning workman."

Exodus 28:6: "And they shall make the ephod… [for the high priest] …of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet and fine-twined bleached linen, skilled work…. [avery fine piece of clothing] …It shall have the two shoulder pieces joined at the two edges of it. And so it shall be joined together. And the embroidered girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work of it: of gold, blue, purple and scarlet, and fine-twined bleached linen" (vs 6-8).

If you go on down through there, there are other things that it talks about being scarlet. A very key color where God is concerned; significant! It pictures the blood, and the blood is everything, the blood of the sacrifice; the death and crucifixion, the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Messiah and He's coming back. All the things we understand are laid out by the Holy Days; very significant in the plan of God.

He also talks about the veil. Remember what happened to the veil when Christ died? The Holy of Holies was made accessible by the veil being rent in two! It talks about the color of veil being scarlet, as well. That was rent in two picturing our access to the Father, made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ.

We're thinking and looking at Psa. 22:6: "…I am a worm…" The worm is significant and pictures Jesus Christ, His life and death and all the things that go along with it!

Another characteristic of the Crimson worm. They say it is very fragrant, but only fragrant when it was ground and crushed. The fragrance was sought after, as well.

  • we are to be in the image of Christ
  • we are to have His mind
  • we are to live to measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ
  • we are to become like Christ

Are we sweet smelling? Are we fragrant in:

  • the way we operate?
  • the way we live?
  • the way we think?
  • the way we look toward Jesus Christ?

2-Corinthians 2:15: "For we are Christ's sweet perfume to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."

This is what we can be, should be and how we're seen in the eyes of God as we emulate Christ.

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2). Remember the Crimson worm crushed and ground releases a fragrance!

As we go through our difficulties, our trials, God looks at them as precious. As we seek Him and look to Him and trust Him through those trials and look to Him and Jesus Christ, then that becomes a sweet smelling savor to God.

The crushed worm was also used as medicine; it had medicinal properties. If you look at Isa. 53—it's always good to go through these around Passover time—and remember the Crimson worm. We'll get to how this little worm goes through the process, but I want to set these Scriptures up first and get our minds thinking about the blood and the body, Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and purpose, and the fact that He planned all this for us. So that we would have evidence and be without excuse to know that He exists and the plan of God is very, very important in our live, and in the lives of the world.

Isaiah 53:3: "He is despised and rejected of men… [Psa. 22] …a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows; yet, we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed… [just like that worm is crushed] …for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed" (vs 3-5)—note 1-Pet. 2:24[transcriber's correction].

What did Christ do? It talks about the things that Christ did that if they were put in a book there wouldn't be enough books to house them all. Most of what He did is He went around and healed people. That was something that He did through His presence, His mind, His compassion and His love.

Matthew 4:23: "And Jesus went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every bodily ailment among the people."

One of the purposes of the Crimson worm was for medicinal purposes. It healed; it had a certain characteristic that would help heal. Also it was very good for the heart.

Psalm 103:3: "Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies" (vs 3-4).

1-Peter 2:21: "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us… [we were also called to suffer, and we certainly do from time to time] …leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps; Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return…" (vs 21-23).

There is something that would be very good to be able to do. I don't think any of us are quite perfect in that.

"…when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed" (vs 23-24).

In that Scripture are some clues, indicators, that when we talk about what the worm goes through. It all points back to Jesus Christ and what He went through in His crucifixion and the death, suffering…

I want to read to you what happens with the Crimson worm: from:

The Crimson or Scarlet Worm {discovercreation.org/blog/2011/11/20/the-crimson-or-scarlet-worm/}

When it is time for the female or mother Crimson worm to have babies (which she does only one time in her life), she finds the trunk of a tree…

A special tree called a kermes oak. There were many of them in Jerusalem. This Crimson worm would only go to the kermes oak. The tree that Romans used for crucifixion was the kermes oak. See the connection?

…a wooden fencepost or a stick. She then attaches her body to that wood and makes a hard crimson shell.  She is so strongly and permanently tuck to the wood that the shell can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart and killing her.

The Crimson worm then lays her eggs under her body and the protective shell. When the baby worms (or larvae) hatch, they stay under the shell. Not only does the mother's body give protection for her babies, but it also provides them with food—the babies feed on the LIVING body of the mother!

After just a few days, when the young worms grow to the point that they are able to take care of themselves, the mother dies. As the mother Crimson worm dies, she oozes a crimson or scarlet red dye which not only stains the wood she is attached to, but also her young children. They are colored scarlet red for the rest of their lives.

After three days, the dead mother Crimson worm's body loses its crimson color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground like snow. So what did Jesus mean by saying "I am a worm"? There are a lot of ideas what Jesus might have meant, but nobody really knows for sure. However, it is very interesting that, just like the Crimson worm, Jesus sacrificed or gave up his life on a tree so that his children might be washed with his crimson blood and their sins cleaned white as snow.

  • Do you see the significance?
  • Do you see the parallels that the Crimson worm goes through?
  • Do you see how it relates to Jesus Christ, and ourselves as well?
  • Do you see why Christ said, "I am a worm"?

Those people that area knew what He was talking about! We don't know about 'Tola`a`th.' We think of an earthworm; they knew exactly what He was talking about when He talked about the color red and His blood.

We see the process of life, of birth, of feeding, protection, growing and our death—and Christ's death—as a process that is very significant for us as children of God. We understand what Christ's life, sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection mean to us. We are without excuse! He gave us evidence, and He shows us in the creation what His plan and His mysteries are. He reveals them to us, those who:

  • love Him
  • call out for Him
  • ask for forgiveness
  • repent
  • are baptized

Israel would have understood this. They would have understood the connection between the word 'Tola`a`th' and the blood. They had it all over, and even got sprinkled with blood at the Holy Days. They probably made sure that they didn't have their best robe on if you were up front.

On Passover the blood was put on the doorpost for protection, in that shell, as long as they stayed under the blood that was put on the doorposts, and they would be passed over.

Upon sin—like scarlet—a sacrifice was offered. They had a bull, goat and pigeons and they would go through the system. Today it's not possible!

Under this system, this is why the New Covenant had to come, why Christ had to come:

Hebrews 10:4: "Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin'" (vs 4-6).

We'll see how 'Tola`a`th' relates to the body, as well. This is really fascinating to me when I was reading through it.

Ephesians 1:2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ" (vs 2-3).

Verse 7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (vs 7-9).

We can clearly see now the connection with the blood, but what about the body? What about the bread? We have the blood and the wine, the bread and the body.

Remember when the eggs were laid inside the mother's shell, the babies fed on the mother; they ate the mother until they were strong enough to leave and then the mother died.

Christ said in His prayer in John 17:15: "I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one."

Keep them in that shell! Keep them in that protective state! Christ's own words, the Creator of the 'Tola`a`th,' the Crimson worm, and all things!

John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time.'"

Verse 55: "For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him" (vs 55-56).

See the connection? See the babies in the protective shell eating the mother?

Verse 57: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me. This is the Bread, which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate manna, and died. The one who eats this bread shall live forever" (vs 57-58).

Awesome connection! Amazing!

For three days the mother is dead; she stays firmly affixed to the kermes oak, and they would scrape that off and use the shell, grind it up into that purple dye, and it would be very valuable. As the mother is dying she secrets that white wax and falls to the ground and it's used for shellac, a protection, a preserving agent.

The connections and parallels are amazing!

The worm's remains are used to make medicine. That shell looks like a small patch of wool on the side of the tree. It flakes off and falls to the ground like snow. Keep that analogy in your mind and turn to:

Isaiah 1:18: "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.'"

Eventually, under the blood of Christ, and forgiveness, God sees us justified as is Jesus Christ Who is now white as wool. He'll see us that way, as well, through the righteousness of the white robes, the white throne.

If the Crimson worm did not die, it could not give birth to its family. Christ had to die for our sins, each and every one of us. Christ inspired Psa. 22:6; He inspired the entire Bible; He is the Word, the Logos, the Creator and He gave us a book, a manual to live by. He inspired it and He lived it. The words that He spoke were the words that He inspired to be written.

Christ equates Himself with the Crimson worm, the Tola`a`th': the whole plan of God is to create, birth and rear a family. As we accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice in our own life, we understand it and accept it, for our sins, for what we've done. We acknowledge them and don't try to make excuses for it. We identify them and ask for forgiveness through that blood and accept Him as our Lord and Savior and our Passover.

  • we receive a new birth
  • we're begotten in Christ
  • we're to be born again at some point
  • we become a new creature in Christ

Christ willingly went to that tree, that kermes oak; nobody pushed Him up there. Just like the worm knows to go to that tree one time, nobody stops it and it dies. That's what Christ did so we can have eternal life in His Family.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ opened the way for the fulfilling of God's plan of salvation for all mankind. Through His death, Jesus ratified the New Covenant, which enables every sinner who repents to receive forgiveness of sin, and the gift of eternal life!

The New Covenant was sealed! We talk about being sealed (Eph. 1). Remember, you're inside that protective covering. Remember the Passover and the blood on the doorpost, the blood that keeps us and protects us. We're sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!

Christ inspired those words, "I am a worm!" we understand now a little better with this Passover coming up what that means. What He did! How great the whole idea that He would do that. That He would create us and put us here and inspire those words, and on the other side a thousand years later come and live, die and speak them, then He's sitting beside the Father white as wool on a white throne looking for those of us whom righteousness is impugned to. It's not our righteousness, but we're changed to spirit and at that time we will also look like Christ, be like Him in the Family of God.

What a wonderful time, an amazing time, a wonderful plan that God has for us, but also an amazing creation that He has given us, that pictures these things for us. We just open our eyes, look at them and see them and realize the parallels.

  • it's encouraging
  • it fills us with hope
  • it helps us to continue to endure
  • it helps us to hang in the there and make it

To be sons of God, children of God!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 18, 6
  • Mark 4:11
  • Ephesians 3:9-11
  • Romans 1:20
  • Isaiah 1:18
  • Hebrews 9:19-22
  • Leviticus 17:11
  • John 19:2
  • Matthew 27:28
  • Colossians 2:17
  • Exodus 26:1
  • Exodus 28:6-8
  • 2 Corinthians 2:15
  • Ephesians 5:1-2
  • Isaiah 53:3-5
  • Matthew 4:23
  • Psalm 103:3-4
  • 1 Peter 2:21-24
  • Hebrews 10:4-6
  • Ephesians 1:2-3, 7-9
  • John 17:15
  • John 6:35, 55-58
  • Isaiah 1:18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 27:46, 39, 43
  • John 19:23
  • Revelation 1
  • 1 Peter 2:24
  • Ephesians 1

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Passover Plot by Hugh J. Schonfield
  • Article: The Crimson or Scarlet Worm {discovercreation.org/blog/2011/11/20/the-crimson-or-scarlet-worm/}

SD:bo                  Transcribed: 9/8/19

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