Psalm 22

Jesus chose words from this Psalm deliberately to describe His agony on the cross, Matthew 27:46. It is certain that Jesus was meditating on the Scriptures during the hours of his suffering and that he saw his crucifixion as a fulfillment of Psalm 22. As Jesus approached death while on a cross, it was then, that he felt the horror of God’s abhorrence of sin, he was bearing the brunt of our sins.

“Why have You forsaken Me?” There is a note of surprise in this cry from the Forsaken One, he seems bewildered; “We might easily imagine a situation in the life of King David where he experienced neglect. There were times when he found himself in impossible circumstances and wondered why God did not rescue him immediately. But for Jesus, this suffering was completely for one reason only; God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, 2nd Corinthians 5:21. Jesus not only endured the withdrawal of the Father’s fellowship, but also the actual outpouring of the Father’s wrath upon Him as a substitute for sinful humanity. This was the darkness of his horror; when he penetrated the depths of the gorge of suffering. At the same time, we cannot say that the separation between the Father and the Son at the cross was complete. Paul made this clear in 2nd Corinthians 5:19, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself at the cross”. Our Father must have felt horrific pain too, letting this happen to His Son. If you look closely, you can see two sacrifices at once at the cross.

His enemies identified as the scornful enemies of God and His Anointed in their mockery of Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:43: He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now…). That is exactly what God was planning through it all. In a truly grace-filled man, his trust in God is known. This trust by believing men is not understood by the world. This true faith will almost certainly be mocked at some time or another. The time will come when the man of faith who has trusted in God will be abundantly and obviously justified, but that justification never comes when WE want it.

There is also some reason to believe (based mainly on John 19:34) that on the cross Jesus suffered from a ruptured heart, making the words “My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me” also amazingly specific. My tongue clings to My jaws: As was normal for anyone under the agony of crucifixion, Jesus suffered great thirst on the cross (John 19:28).

You have brought me to the dust of death: David used this moving poetic phrase to describe the extent of his misery. He probably had in mind the curse God pronounced upon Adam after his sin: For dust you are, and to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:19) Jesus bore the sting of Adam’s curse for us, Galatians 3:3, so that we would not have to bear it ourselves.

“I can count all My bones”: These words can only have their origin from the Spirit of Christ through the hands of the Psalmist David, so that The Son of David, despite his great suffering on the cross, suffered no broken bones. A prophecy that John carefully noted, Jn. 19:31-37. It fulfilled this prophecy, as well as Psalm 34:20 and the pattern of the Passover lamb as described in Exodus 12:46 & Numbers 9:12. This entire Psalm evokes an emotion to cry for mercy, from anyone that reads it with faith. Can you imagine what it would feel like to sing it?

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