Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,

and by night, but I find no rest.

3Yet you are holy,

enthroned on the praises of Israel.

4In you our fathers trusted;

they trusted, and you delivered them.

5To you they cried and were rescued;

in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

7All who see me mock me;

they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;

let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

9Yet you are he who took me from the womb;

you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.

10On you was I cast from my birth,

and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11Be not far from me,

for trouble is near,

and there is none to help.

12Many bulls encompass me;

strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

13they open wide their mouths at me,

like a ravening and roaring lion.

14I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint;

my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast;

15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

you lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs encompass me;

a company of evildoers encircles me;

they have pierced my hands and feet— 17I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them,

and for my clothing they cast lots.

19But you, O LORD, do not be far off!

O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

20Deliver my soul from the sword,

my precious life from the power of the dog!

21Save me from the mouth of the lion!

You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

23You who fear the LORD, praise him!

All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,

and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

24For he has not despised or abhorred

the affliction of the afflicted,

and he has not hidden his face from him,

but has heard, when he cried to him.

25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;

my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;

those who seek him shall praise the LORD!

May your hearts live forever!

27All the ends of the earth shall remember

and turn to the LORD,

and all the families of the nations

shall worship before you.

28For kingship belongs to the LORD,

and he rules over the nations.

29All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;

before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,

even the one who could not keep himself alive.

30Posterity shall serve him;

it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,

that he has done it.

Psalm 22 – We know that Psalm 22 has reference to the death of Christ because Matthew tells us so – Matthew 27:35-46. This is a help to us as we consider the overall plot line of the Bible. Of course, Psalm 22 is also the cries of David while he was in a distressing situation. God took the sufferings of David as a prophetic tool to point to the death of Christ.

The Psalm can be divided into two major sections – verses 1- 21 – Christ’s sufferings at the hands of others and 22- 31 – David’s rejoicing over the great work that the LORD has accomplished through Christ’s work. Jesus comes to earth. He suffers and dies. God raises Him up and there is salvation guaranteed for a vast numberless host.

The Psalm ends with a most remarkable prophecy in verses 29- 31 that can only apply to Jesus, not David. The world shall bow down before the One who could not keep Himself alive. “He saved others, Himself He cannot save” was the cry of the taunters at the cross, and they were right. He could not save both Himself from death on the cross and save people from their sins. And because He did not save Himself He does save others and the One who died shall have the kings of the earth bowing down to Him.

In verses 30 and 31 we are told that this act shall be proclaimed forever. Here we are two thousand years after the crucifixion and three thousand years after the prophecy of Psalm 22 and we are doing precisely what the Psalm said we would. We proclaim the righteousness of the One who suffered, who was rescued and who reigns. We proclaim that He has done it and what He has done is sufficient to save all whom the Lord our God shall call. What a work the cross is. What a Book the Bible is. What a great story to tell. Lord, help us to tell it faithfully, for your glory.