FROM THE PULPIT

Ancient Words: Reflections in Psalm 22

By Scott Johnson

A psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psa 22:1 NIV) Does this sound familiar? Jesus cries out 7 times in agony on the cross and this statement, of course, is one of the cries: And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"). (Mar 15:34 NIV)

Is Jesus quoting King David----or, has David quoted in advance what King Jesus will say? The words of course are powerful, as we know, with full understanding that the power rests with the Son of God. His anguish is unique, his pain, is unique, his suffering is unique----and his blood most certainly is unique!

Psalm 22 continues to be filled with events surrounding Jesus' death on the cross and yes even his birth: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. "He trusts in the LORD," they say, "let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." (Psa 22:6-8 NIV) Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother's womb you have been my God. (Psa 22:9-10 NIV) Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth 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 surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. (Psa 22:12-18 NIV) I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. (Psa 22:22 NIV)--Made reference to in Hebrews 2.12-13.

Christ is proclaimed by David in Psalm 22. From birth to death, the king's Lord is proclaimed and extolled thru the Psalm of David

Reflect now on Psalm 23/24: A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psa 23:1-6 NIV)

Of David. A psalm. The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty-- he is the King of glory. (Psa 24:1-10 NIV)

Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]