Psalms 1 - 50by Mike Raiter
Psalm 22 is such a remarkable prophecy about the sufferings of Jesus on the cross, we can forget that when David wrote this song he was describing his own life. He often felt that ″many bulls surround me″ (v. 12), referring to his enemies, and that God had laid him in the dust of death (v. 15).
Verses 12 to 21 continue with a description of David's sufferings. As he describes his physical, emotional, and mental torment, we can compare them with the Gospels' accounts and see how David's words point forward to the death of the Lord Jesus.
David's enemies are described as surrounding him (v. 12), taunting him (v. 13), and abusing his body (vv. 13-14; see John 19:1-3). His throat is parched, he cries out in thirst (Psalm 22:15; see John 19:28-29), and his enemies cast lots for his garments (Psalm 22:18; see John 19:23-24). In the end, he commits himself to the only One who can deliver him (Psalm 22:19-21; see Luke 23:46).
The rest of Psalm 22 describes the rescue, vindication, and glorification of the king. We can be sure that just as Jesus remembered-in pain-the opening verses of Psalm 22, He took comfort also from the hope of its closing words.
David knows that he will again ″declare your name to my people″ (v. 22). His rescue by God means blessing and salvation for the people under his rule. He says ″the poor will eat and be satisfied″ (v. 26; see Luke 4:18) and ″those who seek the Lord will praise him″ (Psalm 22:26). This salvation will not just be for Israel in the days of King David, but also for all people for generations to come.
David, who has experienced God's salvation, proclaims the Saviour God to all the ends of the earth, so that ″all the families of the nations will bow down before him″ (v. 27). Indeed, as Paul reminds us, one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
Again, this salvation is for all generations to come, including we who live at the beginning of the 21st century. We, who were for David as yet unborn, have been told about the Lord. We experience His salvation because, in the words of this song's triumphant climax, ″He has done it!″ (Psalm 22:31). So we should praise Him!
Reflect on the Gospel accounts of Jesus' death on the cross. What evidence can you see that Jesus was confident that the Lord would deliver Him?
In Psalm 22:22-31, David gives us the content of the songs of praise we should sing when we gather. What should be the ″theme of [our] praise in the great assembly″ (v. 25)? How well do the songs we sing in church reflect the priorities of Psalm 22?