A Psalm of Prophecy

Many people find inconsistency in the Bible. They nit-pick any little thing that isn’t stated exactly the same in one place as in another. But I am always amazed by the coherency of the whole story set forth in the Bible. I am amazed by the ways in which prophecy of the Old Testament was fulfilled in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Today is Good Friday, a day on which much of Old Testament prophecy came true. One of my favorite passages of the Old Testament is Psalm 22.

Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
       Why are you so far from saving me,
       so far from the words of my groaning?

Jesus quoted this passage while on the cross, in His darkest hour, as the sin of the world was upon Him and he felt all the darkness within us all. See Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.

 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
       by night, and am not silent.

 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
       you are the praise of Israel.

 4 In you our fathers put their trust;
       they trusted and you delivered them.

 5 They cried to you and were saved;
       in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we are all saved. When God’s people have cried out to Him, He has not disappointed them.

 6 But I am a worm and not a man,
       scorned by men and despised by the people.

The chief priests and Pharisees scorned and despised Jesus, and the people chose the murderer Barabbas to be released instead of Jesus because they despised Jesus so. They called out for His crucifixion because of their hatred. See Matthew 27, Mark 15, and John 19.

 7 All who see me mock me;
       they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

 8 “He trusts in the LORD;
       let the LORD rescue him.
       Let him deliver him,
       since he delights in him.”

As Jesus hung on the cross, it is recorded that He was mocked by the people. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself.” See Matthew 27: 41-44, Mark 15:29-32, and Luke 23:35-37.

 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
       you made me trust in you
       even at my mother’s breast.

 10 From birth I was cast upon you;
       from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 11 Do not be far from me,
       for trouble is near
       and there is no one to help.

There was no one on Earth to help Jesus. All of His disciples had deserted Him.

 12 Many bulls surround me;
       strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

 13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
       open their mouths wide against me.

 14 I am poured out like water,
       and all my bones are out of joint.
       My heart has turned to wax;
       it has melted away within me.

 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
       and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
       you lay me in the dust of death.

On the cross, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28. The physical result of crucifixion is that it causes suffocation and drains all the strength from the one being crucified. After His death, Jesus was laid in a tomb, in the “dust of death.”

 16 Dogs have surrounded me;
       a band of evil men has encircled me,
       they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Death by crucifixion involves nailing the hands and feet of the person to the cross, and so Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced by the nails.

 17 I can count all my bones;
       people stare and gloat over me.

It was customary for the Romans to break the legs of those who had been crucified in order to hasten their death by suffocation. But Jesus died before they came to do this. John 19:33. As a result, all of His bones were unbroken and could be counted.

 18 They divide my garments among them
       and cast lots for my clothing.

The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus divided up His clothing, but they cast lots for His undergarment. John 19:23-24.

 19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
       O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

 20 Deliver my life from the sword,
       my precious life from the power of the dogs.

 21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
       save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
       in the congregation I will praise you.

 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
       All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
       Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

 24 For he has not despised or disdained
       the suffering of the afflicted one;
       he has not hidden his face from him
       but has listened to his cry for help.

Though it may not have seemed so on this Good Friday, God did hear Jesus cry for help. He did not hide His face from the Afflicted One. No, instead He gave Him life again. See John 20.

 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
       before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.

 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
       they who seek the LORD will praise him—
       may your hearts live forever!

 27 All the ends of the earth
       will remember and turn to the LORD,
       and all the families of the nations
       will bow down before him,

 28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
       and he rules over the nations.

 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
       all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
       those who cannot keep themselves alive.

 30 Posterity will serve him;
       future generations will be told about the Lord.

 31 They will proclaim his righteousness
       to a people yet unborn—
       for he has done it.

It is God who has done this glorious thing. He has sacrificed Jesus for our sins, and brought Him back to life for His glory! He has defeated sin, death, and the devil. He has won the great war for the souls of mankind. We are the beneficiaries of His great work, and we proclaim His righteousness to the people as yet unborn, to the generations to come.

I don’t know that David was conscious of the fact that he was revealing prophecy when he wrote Psalm 22. But I do believe that he was led by the Holy Spirit to write what he did. I am thankful for the whole of scripture and its coherent story of God’s creation, love, and redemption of His people now and forever.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


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