Psalm 22: How Jesus Fulfilled this Psalm on the Cross…

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, King David penned Psalm 22 over a thousand years BEFORE the heinous torture of crucifixion was ever invented. Discover how accurately Jesus Christ fulfilled this psalm on the cross. Let’s dig in…

Psalm 22

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
    and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
    They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11 Do not stay so far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and no one else can help me.
12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
    fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
    roaring and tearing into their prey.
14 My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
    an evil gang closes in on me.
    They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
    My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves
    and throw dice for my clothing.

19 O Lord, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20 Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
    I will praise you among your assembled people.
23 Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
    Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
    Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
    He has not turned his back on them,
    but has listened to their cries for help.

25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.

Pslam 22 NLT

A Perspective FROM the Cross

The Gospels all describe how Jesus died on the cross from eyewitness testimonies. The New Testament epistles (letters) provide a “perspective on the cross” — explaining its significance. This is a perspective from the cross. It’s as if Jesus was writing it Himself. Well, it was the Holy Spirit who inspired David to write it. Moreover, it’s not laid it out in exact chronological order, so we’ll skip around the events of the crucifixion as we go through the psalm. So, let’s look at the verses that were fulfilled on the cross…

Verse 1: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Matthew 27:45-46 NLT

Next, Verses 6-8

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Pslam 22:6-8 NLT

Fulfilled on the Cross

35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

Luke 23:35-39 NLT

Pastor Sandy Adams adds an interesting tidbit of information…

Jesus was fully human, but when the weight of sin fell upon Him, He felt less than man. He felt like a worm, not a man.

The Hebrew word translated “worm” is a derivative of a word meaning “crimson.” A flower, a crocus, indigenous to Israel produced a dye used to color Israel’s royal garments. This flower was the home of a worm.
The dye was made by crushing the worm with the flower’s petals. For the king to be clothed in royal robes the worm had to be crushed. And for us to be clad in righteousness, Jesus also had to be crushed.

Hear in these words the jeers and mocking that was hurled at Jesus while He hung from the cross.

Sandy Adams

Verse 14

My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.

Pslam 22:14 NLT

Pastor Sandy Adams comments…

The cross contorts the body and puts stress on the joints… The loss of oxygen caused Jesus’ blood to grow thick and heavy. This made His heart sluggish. It eventually ruptured. Jesus literally died of a broken heart.

Sandy Adams

Verse 15: “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”

28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:28-30 NLT

The 2nd Part of Verse 15: “You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.”

This is the greatest fulfillment of them all!

42 This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) 44 Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. 45 The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. 46 Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.

Mark 15:42-47 NLT

And we know what happened next! Jesus, Yeshua Hamashiach, our Messiah, rose from the dead 3 days later! He defeated sin and death on the cross and by His resurrection.

Verse16: “They have pierced my hands and feet.”

24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross.

Mark 15:24 NLT

Pastor Sandy Adams explains…

The victim of a crucifixion suffered excruciating pain. [By the way, the word “excruciating” comes from the pain felt by the torture of crucifixion.] He was attached to a wooden scaffold by seven-inch iron spikes driven through His hands and feet. The victim’s body weight rested on these wounds.

Listen to Dr. Truman Davis describe what the crucified endured from a medical viewpoint… “As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed. The intercostals (the muscles between his ribs that form the chest wall) are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.”

Each time Jesus pushes on His wounds to draw a breath incredible pain ricochets through His body… There are two ways a victim dies… One was through suffocation. This was hastened by the executioners. They’d break His legs so He could no longer push himself up. Two is by cardiac arrest. The blood lacked oxygen so it got heavy and sluggish. As it flowed into the lower extremities the pulse doubled, and the victim’s blood pressure was cut in half. Eventually, the heart ruptured. When the Romans came to break Jesus’ legs, He was already dead. We know Jesus died of a broken heart. He endured crucifixion for us.

Sandy Adams

Verse 18: “They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.

John 19:23-24 NLT

How to Pray Psalm 22

The remainder of the psalm is a praise song, thus, I’m creating my prayer from that. As on all Sunday Psalms, you can create your own. Get a blank book and journal your prayers to Jesus. Here’s mine…

Dear Lord Jesus, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid and to rescue your believers from this evil world! I will proclaim and praise Your name to the whole world. May all you who fear You Praise You, Lord! May everyone honor You and You only! For You have not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. You have not turned your back on them, but listened to their cries for help.

I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you. May the poor eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. The whole earth will acknowledge You, Lord, and return to You. All the families of the nations will bow down before You. For all royal power belongs to You, Lord. You rule all the nations.

Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. May they bow before You, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust. Future generations will hear about Your wonders. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.

Thank you, Jesus for the privilege of spreading your Good News all over the world. Lord I pray for the seekers, in their quest for truth, open their hearts, eyes, ears and mind to understand as I gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Lord, God, change those people’s hearts, so they will learn the truth. May all with ears to hear, listen and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

Paraphrase of Psalm 22 by Giselle Aguiar

In Summary, I turn to Spoken Gospel and their lesson on this psalm

David wonders in this psalm if God has abandoned him (Psalm 22:1). God isn’t responding to his prayers (Psalm 22:2). While God had been delighted to respond and rescue David’s ancestors, the same treatment doesn’t seem to apply to him (Psalm 22:5). David’s enemies take advantage of God’s silence and mock him (Psalm 22:6). They sarcastically imply that his suffering is proof that God must not love him as he once did (Psalm 22:8).

It’s not as if David’s perception of his enemies is blown out of proportion. They are vicious predators (Psalm 22:13). David is surrounded (Psalm 22:16). He feels as if his body will collapse under the stress (Psalm 22:14), not to mention the physical harm David’s enemies enjoy inflicting (Psalm 22:17). Desperate, David calls out for deliverance (Psalm 22:20-21).

In that same moment of desperation, David invites all of Israel to praise God (Psalm 22:22). This praise is not for God’s seeming inaction, but because of his past faithful action on their behalf. God is not the type of God to abandon the afflicted and the victimized (Psalm 22:24). Just as God heard the cries of his people in Egypt, delivered them from slavery, and provided them food in the wilderness, David is confident God will move towards the afflicted again and feed them (Psalm 22:26).

(Psalm 22:27). Both the poor and the rich will bow before the God who sustains their life (Psalm 22:29). And all future generations will proclaim the faithfulness of the God who delivers and saves forever (Psalm 22:30-31).

Where is the Gospel?

This song of lament is used 24 times in the New Testament as a way to interpret and explain Jesus’ death and crucifixion. Some of Jesus’ last words on the cross are taken from the first verse of this psalm: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

The sarcastic jabs David received are repeated in the mouths of the Pharisees and Romans toward Jesus (Luke 23:35, 37). Stripped and left naked in a game of chance (John 19:24), Jesus could easily count all of his bones (Psalm 22:17). As Jesus’ cross was raised and then dropped into a hole, many of his bones would have dislocated (Psalm 22:14).

Both David and Jesus model for us how to pray while we’re suffering. We shouldn’t use religious words when brutal ones are more true. We should express the depth of our pain to God. And like both David and Jesus, we should pray in hope that God will deliver.

When we look at the ways we’ve suffered, it’s easy to think God has abandoned us. But that’s not true. On the cross, Jesus inhabited the forsakenness we so often experience. And not simply to sympathize with us, but to demonstrate that anyone who trusts in him will never be abandoned.

Jesus rose from the dead! While it looked like God had left Jesus to die, God would not allow his precious son to be abandoned to the grave (Acts 2:27). And the same goes for you. Jesus promises to satisfy your afflicted soul with eternal food (Luke 22:19; John 6:35). He will not abandon to the grave those he has made his family (Hebrews 2:11-12).

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we know life will win over our suffering and death. In the same way David hoped, we will get to sing of that deliverance forever.

See for Yourself

May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the God who hears our cries. And may you see Jesus as the one who delivers us from our suffering.

Spoken Gospel

Jesus didn’t suffer torture and die, carrying the weight of all our sins — God’s wrath — so we could have religion! No!
He died so He could have a Personal Relationship with YOU!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

In Christ Alone

Jesus Paid it All

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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