‘Truth for Truckers’ *February 22, 2014* Psalm 22 “The Psalm of the Suffering Savior”
The Psalm of Our Suffering Savior is one title that has been given to this Messianic Psalm which describes many of the circumstances and events surrounding the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘The Cry of Distress to A Holy God’ is unfolded in (v.1-6) which is an intimate portrait of the agony of the Lord as He suffered and died for the sins of the whole world. ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Is a word for word quotation of the Lord Jesus’ cry recorded in Matthew 27:46 ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and sets the tone for the rest of this, the most sacred of all Psalms.
‘Why art Thou so far from helping Me and the words of My roaring? This question indicates the distant position of God the Father from the Son’s groaning utterances as He cries for deliverance in His unprecedented and undeserved suffering. His cry, even though unheeded, did not stop as He continues through the night of Gethsemane and His day of excruciating suffering on Golgotha. The example of the Lord Jesus Christ’s importunity agrees with His earthly teaching for: ‘Men ought always to pray and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1)
The statement of the holiness of God in (v.3): ’But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel’, gives the reason for the forsaking of His only Son at the time the sin of the world was laid upon Him, for it is not possible for a holy God to be in the presence of sin unless He is the perfect and sinless God-man Who is in the act of bearing the penalty of sin itself, and thereby destroying the condemning effects it had upon mankind. God’s habitation, His home where He is enthroned, is dwelling in the midst of ‘The praises of Israel’ His people, and today He continues to make His presence and continual abode in the praise and worship of His saints. It truly is amazing what praising will do for the blood-washed saint of God! [Praising the Lord from the heart for His so great salvation brings the saint into the presence of God!]
The appeal to the past deliverance of the fathers is presented: ‘Our fathers trusted in Thee: they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee, and were delivered: they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded.’ (v.4,5). This reveals His confident expectation of His Father’s eventual deliverance when He committed His spirit into the Father’s hand which was followed by His miraculous bodily resurrection after three days in the tomb. The faith of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, is clearly displayed in this bold declaration of God’s power to deliver Him regardless of His present dark and despicable situation.
The Lord’s declaration of His low estate ‘But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people’ (v.6) is a direct result of His brutal, humiliating and debasing suffering, rendering His present view far below His true exalted position as Son of The Highest. Isaiah 53:3 agrees ‘He is despised and rejected of men’ showing this lowly position as recognized and experienced by the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him (v.7, 8). The scorning He received on the Cross is recorded in Matthew 27:39, 43: ‘And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads...He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him’. The next three verses amplify His full and complete dependence upon the Father from the very beginning of His life. Then, (v.11) illustrates the closeness of their relationship as the Lord Jesus requests and tells the Father that He is the only Source of deliverance!
In (v.12 & 13) the Lord utilizes two ferocious animals to describe the crowd that gathered around the Cross on that wretched but glorious day. This most fitting description of the people who mocked, smote and spat upon the Lord describes the lowly and despicable collection of Jews and Gentiles who relished and rejoiced in the suffering of the Savior!! Then (v.14-18) unfolds the Lord’s final period of time on the Cross when His suffering intensified just before He gave up the ghost. His life was ‘Poured out like water and all My bones are out of joint’ describes the agony of hanging on the Cross with His body weight fully suspended causing His joints to be pulled apart.
His heart becomes as wax which melts describing the heart’s throbbing condition just before death. Then His strength is exhausted and His mouth is dried out causing His tongue to cling to the roof and finally ‘The dust of death’ (v.15). His pierced hands and feet (John 20:27) underline the method of crucifixion, but none of His bones are broken (John 19:36). They part His garments among them (Luke 23:34) and cast lots for His vesture/one piece robe. The Lord once again calls for help from His Father (v.19-21) as His agonizing Cross experience and description comes to an end. Then, (v.22-31) records the time after Jesus’ resurrection and also includes end time events when ‘The kingdom is the LORD’s’ (v.28)
During the end times ‘A seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.’ (v.30-31). These two verses refer to the 144 Thousand Servants of God (Revelation 7:3) who will fulfill the Lord’s requirement for a continuing priesthood during the Day of the Lord after the saints are rescued and resurrected and appear before the Throne (Revelation 7:9-17). Their Spiritual prowess described in Revelation 14:1-5 reveals that they ‘Follow the Lamb wherever He goes’.
Chaplain L.E.Wolfe www.btmi.org I-85 Exit 35 SC McPilot Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!