WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22
A while back we worked through the first 21 Psalms. I thought it was time to go back to this book and work through some more. Obviously today we take on the 22nd Psalm.
This particular Psalm is one of the Messianic Psalms. Most Messianic Psalms work on at least two levels. One of those is what is happening in the life of the writer at the time. In this case, that would be David. Another level of Messianic Psalms points to Jesus. As a result, the entire Psalm (by that I mean every word) may not necessarily be about Jesus but there are parts of the Psalm that unmistakably point to Jesus.
For example, the very first words in this Psalm are among the very words that Jesus spoke from the cross. These words would have come after Jesus “became sin” and was “made a curse” and the Father turned away from the Son. That was part of the punishment that Jesus bore on our behalf. But it is important to notice that even in this pivotal moment, Jesus still referred to God as “My God”. So, although God turned away from Jesus, the Father did not abandon the Son. The Son still knew the Father and trusted Him. The relationship was still intact.
As you look down to verse 7, we find another Messianic prophecy. While being crucified, Jesus was mocked. He was taunted with calling for help to be rescued from the cross.
Verses 14-18 paint a most vivid picture of the agony of the cross including the piercing of the hands and feet. From our perspective looking back, we could describe a lot of the different elements of crucifixion. But when David wrote this, crucifixion had never been used as a method of execution. The Roman Empire which mastered the art of torture and crucifixion on a cross was hundreds of years in the future. It is incredible that David could be able to describe something so clearly that neither him nor any of his contemporaries had ever seen.
By the time we get to verses 22ff, we begin to encounter prophecy about the resurrection of Jesus and eventually even His Second Coming. There is much praise given from the congregation. It starts in verse 23 with the Jewish people (the descendants or offspring of Jacob) because that was the first group of people to whom Jesus went. They were the first to hear the Gospel and respond to the Gospel. Converted Jews were also the first to launch the church.
In verse 27, the rest of humanity is included when the “ends of the earth” and “the nations” are mentioned. That doesn’t mean everybody will be saved. It just means that saved Gentiles will be folded into the family of God.
Verse 31 makes an interesting statement when we read “to a people yet unborn”. The atonement made possible by the cross was not a temporary solution. It is permanent, stretching even to the generations that are not yet born.