Messiah’s Hope – Meditations on Psalm 22 (Part 2 of 2)

In case you missed it, here is Part 1.

(Context: Looking at the connection between David’s Psalm and the parallels to the suffering, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ. Part 2 continues this trend, yet also looks at the prophesied resurrection of Messiah.)

You lay me in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15b) is such an important phrase, as it is not the cross which kills Christ, nor was it His enemies who had their way, for it was God who put Him to death (Isaiah 53:10).

“For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—

I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;

They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:16-8)

One can almost hear the shouts of victory from the throats of evil mankind and the demonic world. The creation has triumphed over its Creator, for here is Messiah, pierced by nails in the “hands and feet”, hanging limp, naked, and humiliated on a rough Roman cross. Messiah’s enemies crowd around and laugh sinisterly, wild in the emotion of their victory, like dogs crowding around the base of a tree with a poor cat clinging to a low hanging branch.

The White Witch kills Aslan

While none of Messiah’s bones are broken, thus “I can count all my bones”, he has been killed, and they “stare and gloat over me”. His clothes are to be ripped apart and given away to be used as rags for soldiers to clean the blood off of their weapons, and the sweat off their armor. Surely he will be dumped into a hole and wild dogs will tear Him to pieces!

“But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!

Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!” (Psalm 22:19-21).

Once again, one last time, Messiah calls out to His Father. Whereas no answer is given in life, the words “it is finished” (John 19:30) at the end of it were to God, not to man. He had accomplished the plan to redeem mankind, and now He would have to enter death with His only hope being the power of God to resurrect the righteous.

“You have rescued me [!]” exclaims the resurrected Messiah, whereas others thought His end had come, God listened and helped Him there, even in the grave – for all this are possible to God. While mankind had thought they had triumphed, while Satan’s realm celebrated, they had not known the mind of God, nor had plumbed the depth of His plans. As the resurrected Jesus later explained: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26).

“You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

For 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.

Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

They shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it” (Psalm 22:23-4, 30-1).

That message that is to “proclaim his righteousness” is the Gospel, the Good News that Christ died and resurrected in order to freely offer us forgiveness of our sins, reconciliation with God, and entrance into His awesome presence forever. Praise be to the only wise and glorious God and to His Messiah, our savior, redeemer, and the lover of our souls!

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