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Messianic Psalm

Psalm 22:1-19


The fact that this song is written by David is not debated, however, there are those who believe it is autobiographical and not a Messianic Psalm. The evidence against such view is overwhelming. Though the scripture contains volumes of material written by David or about David, there is no record of him ever being without a helper (vs. 11), or that he was despised by the people (vs. 6), actually, the converse is true-he was beloved by his contemporaries and really, still to this day. There is no account of him being stripped of his clothes (vs. 17), or in a state of near-death exhaustion (vs 14-17). Neither is there a record of his feet and hands being pierced (vs 16) or that people ever leered at him (vs. 17) or that anyone ever cast lots for his clothes (vs 18).

Compounded by the fact that early Jewish scholars understood Psalm 22 to be a Messianic Psalm, (Pulpit, vol 8, p. 151) I find it difficult to understand this Psalm as applying to anyone but Jesus Christ-the Messiah. This morning I want to spend the majority of the time we have together reading from Psalm 22 and from the New Testament passages that show Jesus fulfilling the words of the poet. I will reserve a few minutes at the end to make a couple of summary comments about the texts we will be reading.

[1] "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning." (NASB) 

Matthew 27:46 (NASB) "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' 

[2] "O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; And by night, but I have no rest." 

Luke 22:41-46 (NASB) "And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, [42] saying, 'Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.' [43] Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. [44] And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. [45] And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, [46] and said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.'"

[3] "Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel. [4] In Thee our fathers trusted; They trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. [5] To Thee they cried out, and were delivered; In Thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. [6] But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people." 

Matthew 27:20-23 (NASB) "But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and to put Jesus to death. [21] But the governor answered and said to them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release for you?' And they said, 'Barabbas.' [22] Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said, 'Let Him be crucified!' [23] And he said, 'Why, what evil has He done?' But they kept shouting all the more, saying, 'Let Him be crucified!'" 

[7] "All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, [8] 'Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.'" 

Matthew 27:29 (NASB) "And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!'" 

Matthew 27:39 (NASB) "And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads," 

Matthew 26:66-68 (NASB) "what do you think?' They answered and said, 'He is deserving of death!' [67] Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, [68] and said, 'Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?'" 

[9] "Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's breasts. [10] Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother's womb. [11] Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help." 

Matthew 26:56 (NASB) "'But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples left Him and fled." 

Matthew 26:74 (NASB) "Then he began to curse and swear, 'I do not know the man!' And immediately a cock crowed." 

[12] "Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. [13] They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion." 

Matthew 27:1 (NASB) "Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death;" 

[14] "I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me." 

Matthew 26:38 (NASB) "Then He said to them, 'My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.'" 

[15] "My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death." 

Matthew 27:50 (NASB) "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit." 

[16] "For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet." 

John 20:25 (NASB) "The other disciples therefore were saying to him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'" 

[17] "I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;" 

Luke 23:27 (NASB) "And there were following Him a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him." 

[18] "They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots."

Matthew 27:35 (NASB) "And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots;" 

[19] "But Thou, O Lord, be not far off; O Thou my help, hasten to my assistance. [20] Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog. [21] Save me from the lion's mouth; And from the horns of the wild oxen Thou dost answer me."

Mark 16:6 (NASB) "And he said to them, 'Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him." 

The most provocative of all the words of Jesus on the cross were his words, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Some have suggested that He said those words like a cantor would introduce a song the congregation was about to sing. I don't share that view. I believe He said those words because that is how He felt. He felt forsaken. Who wouldn't?

As I reflect upon those words, they give me great strength, because they remind me that even in his darkest hour, his faith was strong. His words acknowledge that God is a God that can do anything. But more than that, his words remind me that God was His God, even in His darkest hour. He didn't just say it once, He said it twice-MY God, MY GOD!

The most reassuring thing about overlaying the scriptures as we've done today is the resounding way Jesus fulfills this Messianic Psalm written thousands of years before His birth. A careful study of this Psalm alone should be enough to bring someone into faith in Jesus Christ.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you've accepted Jesus as your Savior and surrendered your life to Him as your Lord?

Won't you pray with me now? With a simple prayer, tell Him that you've sinned and that you're sorry for you sins. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to take them away from you. Tell Him you'll live the rest of your life for Him and that you'll serve Him until your dying day. Tell Him that you are willing to exchange your life for His death. Ask Him to save you.

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