Today: [Psalms Twenty-Two] The First Voice of Jesus in the Old Testament. Psalm 22 is a unique psalm in that it is the first time we hear the innermost words of the Messiah echoed on the writing of David. David is going through some type of trial but in his sentiments are echoed the most intimate thoughts of Jesus as He passes between the death of the cross, into the regions of hell and out the other side in triumph and glory.
[Psa 22:1-31 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.]] My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, [saying], 8 He trusted on the LORD [that] he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 9 But thou [art] he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope [when I was] upon my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou [art] my God from my mother’s belly.
Psalm 22 is a Messianic psalm in that it foreshadows the sayings of Jesus upon the cross centuries before His crucifixion. When Jesus was about to give up the ghost on Calvary He actually quotes from this psalm:
[Mat 27:46 KJV] 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?
Here we see the awful price that Jesus paid for our sins. Hab. 1:13 says that God cannot look upon sin. Jesus, after living out His life in a state of one-ness with the Father has now taken on the sins of the world and the Father of necessity turns His face from the Only Begotten. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this as well:
[Isa 53:3-5 KJV] 3 He is despised and rejected of men; 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. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
I don’t know in our lifetimes if we have ever felt the full impact of separation from God. Here is Jesus, without sin – who knew nothing other than an intimacy with the Father we can only imagine. Then in the terrible agony of His physical death He likewise has to experience what a sinner faces in being rejected by God and turned away from by God – all in our behalf. He experienced these things so we don’t have to. He went through these things to make it possible that we could cry “Abba, Father”.
This psalm also reflect the strange parallels in David’s life to the life of Jesus. Here is an ancient Semitic king – centuries before Jesus’ time experiencing life events that reflect milestones in the life of Jesus Himself – and writing about it. We cannot but read these words and know that we are on holy ground. Jesus is sinless, pure and perfect. David is anything but perfect yet he is recorded to be a man after God’s own heart. In a sense the parallels between his life and Jesus’ life were his own unique cross to bear. He did not have to die on the cross and neither do we but there are in every one of our lives unique aspects to our walk that have to do with testimony to who Jesus is and what He has done for us. This is our cross to bear as the events in David’s life that prompted him to write this psalm.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble [is] near; for [there is] none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong [bulls] of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me [with] their mouths, [as] a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
The strong bulls of Bashan gaping upon David speak to us of what happened to Jesus when he went down into the grave. Remember He is suffering for you and I. He is paying the penalty for our sin. The suffering is not just physical but spiritual as well – lingering even after death and after His human spirit was separated from His body.
We don’t really clearly know what happened between the cross and the resurrection but there are references. Eph. 4:9 says that Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth. Acts 2:24 states that Jesus suffered the sorrows of hell. 1 Peter 3:19 indicates at some point before the resurrection that Jesus preached to the righteous dead. Hos. 13:14 says that after His demise Jesus would remove death’s sting from Himself. Zech. 9:11 speaks of Jesus delivering prisoners from the pit. Col. 2:15 says that the culmination of events between the cross and the resurrection resulted in the spoiling of the principalities and powers. Psalm 23:7 speaks of the “gates being lifted up” which is elsewhere translated as Jesus standing inside of hell demanding that the gates be opened in order for Him to lead captivity captive and loose the righteous dead to their reward.
So in the writings of David we hear the thoughts of Jesus echoed in prophetic poetry – regarding the experience of going down into hell and suffering there at a certain depth until the Father determines apparently that the price was now paid and brings Jesus out in great triumph – all to our benefit.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 25 My praise [shall be] of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. 26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28 For the kingdom [is] the LORD’S: and he [is] the governor among the nations. 29 All [they that be] fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. 30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done [this].
When David cries out to be saved from the lion this is Jesus crying out to be saved from the pit of hell after His death. Verses 14 and 15 describe His physical condition after dying from crucifixion – even to the piercing of His heart with a spear allowing the water and blood serum to pour out upon the ground. Verse 16 tells us what happened immediately after His heart stopped beating: “the dogs have compassed me, the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me…” This is the horde of the demonic that apparently pounced upon Jesus’ human spirit to drag Him to hell. In verse 17 and 18 we see a description of what seems like an out of body experience as He looks back upon Himself on the cross seeing His broken body and the soldiers gambling for His robe.
In verse 19-20 Jesus does something that a sinner after death cannot do. He cries out to God to deliver Him from the power of the dog. Even though Jesus became sin – it was not His transgression but ours. Therefore even after death His prayers are still heard. If we die without Christ we cannot pray. It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment. Grace is apportioned to man on this side of the grave. When we cross over through death we cross over into judgment. There is no appeal. There is no reprieve. Our sins must be accounted for. Our only hope at that point is to have yielded before death to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. What a sobering thought.
Jesus on the other hand cries out – not just for Himself but for you and I because it is our sin that has carried Him to the depths of Hell. He isn’t just asking for Himself He is asking for us. We see this is so because in verse 22 He is making plea to the Father not only for Himself but for those who are consider His brothers. Who is that? All of those He identified with in His earth walk, His death and His soon coming resurrection. Jesus cries out in hell knowing that when the Father hears Him – in that moment salvation becomes available to all mankind – and God will then hear not only Jesus but every one of us who accept Jesus as our savior.
Know that His death is purchasing salvation for us – Jesus, in the words of David prophesies in verse 26 that the meek shall eat of the bread that He has become and be satisfied. In verse 27 He prophesies – from hell mind you – that the nations shall turn and worship the Father and enter the kingdom. In verse 30 He proclaims that because of His death – foreshadowed in the words of David that a seed shall be raised up from the earth to serve Him and constitute after so long a time after Adam’s a righteous generation. Finally in v. 31 a reference to our day that not only would the generation that founded the church in the first century declare the gospel but that a people yet to be born – a generation yet to come would be a part of and recipients what Jesus would bring about chronicled in the words of David as he penned this psalm.
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