A Prophetic Portrait of the Cross # 22 Thirty-three prophecies from this psalm were fulfilled when Jesus was on the cross.
For the Pure and Shining One
David’s song of anguish
To the tune of “The Deer at the Dawning of the Day” # 22 This could be an amazing picture of Christ giving birth at the cross to a generation of his seed. They are like children of God born in the dawning of that resurrection morning.
1God, my God!
Why would you abandon me now? # 22:1 When Jesus quoted these words while dying on the cross, he was identifying himself as the one David wrote about in this psalm. It is a breathtaking portrayal of what Jesus endured through his suffering for us. The psalm ends with another quotation of Jesus on the cross: “It is finished!”
2Why do you remain distant,
refusing to answer # 22:2 David used poetic nuance here, for the word “answer” (‘anah) is also a Hebrew homonym for “affliction.” my tearful cries in the day
and my desperate cries for your help in the night?
I can’t stop sobbing.
Where are you, my God?
3Yet I know that you are most holy.
You are God-Enthroned, the praise of Israel.
4Our fathers’ faith was in you—
through the generations they trusted in you
and you came through.
5Every time they cried out to you in their despair,
you were faithful to deliver them;
you didn’t disappoint them.
6But I am like a worm,
crushed and bleeding crimson, # 22:6 The Hebrew word for “worm” is tola, which is also the word for “crimson” or “scarlet.” Tola was a certain worm in the ancient Near East that, when crushed, bled a crimson color so strong it was used as a dye for garments. Jesus was not saying he was a despised worm, but that he will bleed as he is crushed for our sins.
treated as less than human.
I’ve been despised and scorned by everyone!
7Mocked by their jeers, despised with their sneers,
as all the people poke fun at me, spitting their insults,
8saying, “Is this the one who trusted in God?
Now let’s see if Yahweh will come to your rescue!
Let’s see how much he delights in him!”
9Lord, you delivered me safely from my mother’s womb.
You are the one who cared for me ever since I was a baby.
10Since the day I was born, I’ve been placed in your custody.
You’ve cradled me throughout my days,
and you’ve always been my God.
11So don’t leave me now, for trouble is all around me,
and there’s no one to help me.
12I’m surrounded by many violent foes like bulls;
forces of evil encircle me like the strong bulls of Bashan. # 22:12 The root word for “bull” means “to break or destroy.” The word Bashan, although known as a fertile land northeast of Lake Galilee, is also a word for “serpent.” These represent the many demonic spirits who came against the Son of God as he was being crucified.
13Like ravenous, roaring lions tearing their prey,
they pour curses from their mouths.
14Now I’m completely exhausted. # 22:14 Or “I’m poured out like water.”
Every joint of my body has been pulled apart.
My courage has melted away.
15I’m so thirsty and parched.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
And now you lay me in the dust of death.
16They have pierced my hands and my feet. # 22:16 As translated from some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac; other Hebrew manuscripts read “Like the lion my hands and my feet.” This is a powerful prophecy of crucifixion, given by David many centuries before crucifixion was invented by the Romans.
Like a pack of wild dogs they tear at me,
swirling around me with their hatred.
A band of evil men surrounds me.
17I can count all my bones.
Look at how they gloat over me and stare!
18With a toss of the dice they divide my clothes among themselves,
gambling for my garments!
19Yahweh, please don’t stay far away.
My strength, come quickly to my rescue.
20Give me back my life.
Save me from this violent death.
Save my precious one and only # 22:20 Or “unique” or “darling.” Each of us is that “one and only” child or “unique darling” mentioned here in this psalm. See Song. 6:9. On the cross, Jesus—like a deer giving birth at the dawning light (see inscription of Ps. 22)—cared less that his body was being torn apart and more about our protection and salvation. He prayed for us as he faced death on the cross.
from the power of these dogs! # 22:20 The “dogs” are metaphors for evil spirits who were bent on destroying Jesus on the cross. The Hebrew word for “dog” is taken from a root word meaning “to attack.”
21Save me from all the power of the enemy,
from this roaring lion raging against me
and the power of his dark horde.
22I will declare your name before all my brothers
and praise you in the midst of the congregation. # 22:22 Between v. 21 and v. 22 the glorious resurrection of Jesus takes place. The music is elevated to a higher key as victory is sounded forth. “My people gather” is a reference to the church that was birthed through his resurrection glory. (See also v. 25.)
23Those who fear Yahweh, praise him!
Let all the seed of Jacob glorify him with your praises.
Stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he has not despised my cries of deep despair.
He’s my first responder to my sufferings,
and when I was in pain,
he was there all the time and heard the cries of the afflicted.
25You’re the reason for my praise; it comes from you and goes to you.
I will keep my promise to praise you before all who fear you
among the congregation of your people.
26Let all the poor and broken eat until satisfied.
Bring Yahweh praise and you will find him.
May your hearts overflow with life forever!
27From the four corners of the earth,
the peoples of the world will remember and return to Yahweh.
Every nation will come and worship him.
28For Yahweh is King of all, who takes charge of all the nations.
29The wealthy of this world will feast in fellowship with him
right alongside the humble of heart,
bowing down to the dust, forsaking their own souls.
They will all come and worship this worthy King!
30His spiritual seed # 22:30 Jesus, our crucified Savior, had no natural offspring. These are the sons and daughters who were birthed by the work of the cross. shall serve him.
Future generations will hear from us
about the wonders of the Victorious Lord.
31His generation yet to be born will glorify him.
And they will all declare, “It is finished!” # 22:31 Or “He has done it!” See John 19:30.