In the first 21 verses of Psalm 22 David wrote inspired prophecy of our Lord’s sufferings on the cross. It is more vividly described than what we read in the four gospels. For it lets us to know our Savior’s inward thoughts as he was being crucified. Just think this was written a thousand years before Christ was born and we find 33 distinct prophecies which were fulfilled at Calvary. It is the most convincing example of the divine inspiration of the Bible. Only God can prophesy with such unerring accuracy.
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent” Vs. 1-2. Yes, Christ was abandoned by God. When that dreadful midday-midnight darkness swept over Calvary, this abandoned cry was heard.
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” V. 3. He was abandoned because of the holiness of God. The great Sufferer realized there was a gulf that isolated Him from His Father. “He who knew no sin was made sin for us.” No wonder He was abandoned by the holy God, no wonder He roared out like a lion in pain. He had always done those things that pleased His Father and the Father twice spoke from heaven, This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
“Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded” V. 4-5. Others have cried to God in their distress and God heard them, but Jesus cry was left unanswered.
“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” V. 6. This word “worm” used here is the crimson crocus from which the color scarlet was obtained for the robes of kings. That royal dye was obtained by the lowly worm being crushed. On the cross our Lord was crushed beneath the load of our sin and under the wrath and curse of God. Being made a curse for us, He was crushed. Just think at that moment, He was a worm and no man. The eternal Son of God, Creator of the universe, a worm and no man, abandoned by God.
“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him” Vs. 7-8. What a significant feature of the prophecy, that it foretold exactly what the Lord’s enemies would say. Unbelievers may say Jesus was playacting to fit prophecies, but how could He make His enemies playact the fulfillment of prophecy too? The priests and the people had no desire to prove the claims of Jesus to be Messiah. They did everything to disprove those claims. Yet, despite themselves, they used the very language of Psalm 22 when taunting Him. The Hebrew word “trust” used here occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible. It means, “Roll it on Jehovah: they cried. “Roll it on Him.” Seven distinct Hebrew words for trust are used else where.
“But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round” Vs. 9-12. The Lord’s enemies would be like “bulls of Bashan.” Bashan was known for its fertile pasturelands. Bulls will often circle around any unaccustomed object and charge at the slightest provocation. The Lord’s enemies were like that, standing strong and menacing.
They were not only bulls with ready horns, they were roaring lions, tearing and devouring. “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion” V. 13. They were also like ravenous unclean dogs of the streets. “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” V. 16. How cruel were the Lord’s enemies.
“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. My strength is dried up like a potsherd (a broken piece of pottery); and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death” Vs. 14-15. He who created every mountain stream, every babbling brook, every river, every lake, every well , was consumed with thirst.
As for men, “I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me” V. 17. The original text suggests malicious delight on the sight. No doubt the priests, the elders, the Scribes were thinking He will never trouble us again. Come down from the cross and we will believe in you. The contempt, the cruelty, the callousness of men was all foretold in this psalm. He was not only abandoned by God, but abhorred by men. “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” Vs. 18. The Roman soldiers fulfilled this, casting lots for His vesture. God’s beloved Son was suffering physical, emotional and spiritual anguish (body, soul and spirit). He was dying for their sins. He was dying for the sin of the whole world. It meant nothing to them.
“But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns (wild ox)” Vs. 19-21. We know who the roaring lion is, he that goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Jesus words in Lk. 22:53, “This is your hour and the power of darkness.” Yes, the powers of Satan were present at Calvary, the principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, wicked spirits in high places, all gathered around the cross to gloat.
Deliver “My darling, (my only one) from the power of the dog.” Who is this? Do we not read in Eph. 5, “Christ so loved the church, He gave Himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Also in II Cor. 11, Paul says, by his epistles he has espoused the church to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But he feared that as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, the saints minds would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. This has happened to most. But there are those who have followed Paul in counting all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, to win Christ as Bridegroom.
Psalm 45, King’s daughters were among thy honorable women: Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir…She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework. Christ will have a bride, a glorious church, a chaste virgin, a queen to reign conjointly with Him. Rom. 8, “If we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together.
Rev. 19, tells of the marriage of the Lamb that will come and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness or righteous acts of saints.
In Song of Solomon chapter 6 we read there are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother (grace) to Him. She was on His mind when He was on the cross dying to win her, to obtain her. The bridal company was the joy set before Him that He endured the cross. O what love!