The King is Coming: Psalms 22

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Today’s reading: Psalms 21-25.

There have been hints of the Messiah all through the Old Testament. In Genesis he is the offspring of the woman who will crush Satan’s head. In Exodus he is the Passover lamb. He is the greater prophet that Moses predicted. He is the kinsman redeemer of Ruth. He is the Captain of the LORD’s army who confronts Joshua. He is the redeemer and advocate whom Job longs for. These stray notes become a steady drumbeat in the Psalms as they reveal more and more about the Messiah’s character and the events of his life.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1). Jesus quoted the opening of Psalm 22 on the cross. Though David composed it to reflect on a time of his own difficulty, Jesus applied it to himself on the cross. As he took on the sin of the whole world, God momentarily turned away from Jesus.

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'” (Psalm 22:6-8). An accurate description of the treatment Jesus received before and during his crucifixion. The religious leaders stood at the foot of the cross and taunted Jesus in exactly this manner.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (Psalm 22:15-18). A detailed account of Jesus’ physical suffering. David foresees the crowds around the cross, the Messiah’s nail-pierced hands and feet, his dehydration and nakedness, and the activity of the soldiers dividing up his clothing.

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn– for he has done it. (Psalm 22:30-31). David looked forward 1000 years to Jesus’ victory through suffering. We can look back over the past 2000 years and see how he remains victorious, continuing to lead the lost to righteousness based on faith in his sacrifice for them.

Image by abcdz2000 on flickr, CC by-sa 2.0

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6 thoughts on “The King is Coming: Psalms 22

  1. I think this is exceptionally helpful to know Jesus is quoting a Psalm, and not feeling totally abandoned as we would otherwise interpret his words on the cross. Abandoned by us? Yes. By the Father? No.

    • You are exactly right. Some say, though, that in that moment when he took on all the sins of the world that he was separated from God by the sin. What do you think?

      • I think that question probes the unknowable. How does the trinitarian nature of God separate a third of itself from two thirds? For me, it is a suggestion to contemplate the Psalm in its entirety as you consider the passion of the Lord. It is a last reminder that He fulfills the law and the prophets, drawing all things to Himself, and points to the fulcrum of time that balances all of human history.

  2. Pingback: Bible Daily Devotional – Psalm 22 – The King is coming | ChristianBlessings

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