Psalm 22 – The sufferings and glory of Christ.

Psalm 22


The sufferings and glory of Christ.



¨     One of the Passion psalms

¨     Describes suffering and persecution of an innocent victim

¨     David wrote this – clearly from personal experience of one who has suffered unjustly

¨     Reminds us of Suffering Servant of Isaiah (esp. chs. 53-54)

¨     Christian can’t read this without seeing in it a parallel / prophecy about sufferings and subsequent glory of Christ [we will see parallels as we go through]


The cry of anguish. [1-21]


¨     The sufferer cries out in agonised question: “Why have you forsaken me?” Greatest suffering is not physical pain / nor torment of persecutors which we’ll see later BUT his sense of God-forsakeness.

¨     A cry of perplexity rather than despair or bitterness – Because what is so poignant is his faith is still personally in God – 3x “My God” in vv.1-2.

¨     # Jesus cried these words from the cross – in deep perplexity and anguish of soul at being cut off from fellowship with the Father. We cannot begin to imagine what agony Jesus, as God’s Son, and God the Father suffered. We tend always to focus on Jesus’ suffering BUT remember the father suffered too. We know how as parents it breaks our hearts when our children suffer. How much more must God have suffered seeing His own dear Son suffering at his hand.

¨     Three things accentuate the suffers struggle while at the same time strengthening his faith:-

² 1st –  [3-5] He looks back at his forefathers and sees that when they trusted God they were delivered / not disappointed. Why was he not being delivered from his suffering? YET at the same time there is hope that if God delivered them he will do it again. There is always great value in looking back to see what God has done / in the Bible / in church history / in the lives of others we know / in our own past experiences.

²  2nd –  [6-8] there are the taunts and mockery of his enemies – Where is his God now? # Jesus -Mark 15:31-32  [they] mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

² 3rd – [9-11] The psalmist looks back at his own experience; God has been his God from the beginning, surely he will not abandon him now when trouble is at hand [v11]. There are times when we are burdened and cannot feel God’s presence / when trouble is at hand and God seems a millions miles away. It is then that we need to remind ourselves of his past dealing. And that even if we can’t feel him close he is!


What exactly is his trouble?

¨     He is physically weak and helpless, very sick and fast approaching death. [V15]

¨     His physical problems are exacerbated by the group of evil men who surround him. He likens them to:-

² Strong bulls from the rich pastureland of Bashan [v12]

² Roaring Lion ready to devour him [v13] –interesting the devil is given this description in the NT

² Wild dogs – [v16] – we can picture a pack of ferocious dogs snarling and snapping and him

² Wild oxen [v21] ready to gore him with their horns


¨     In some brutal way they pierce his hands and his feet [v16]; they stare and gloat over him [v17]; they strip him of his clothes and gamble for them [18]

John 19:23-24 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,

“They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

So this is what the soldiers did. (NIV)

¨     V14-17 are a remarkably description of Jesus crucifixion – his disjointed bones [very frequently in crucifixion – the victim would hang by his arms – often the shoulder joints would dislocate] His thirst – # Jesus cried that he was thirsty and they offered him wine vinegar to drink. His pierced hands and feet – this was written before the Romans invented crucifixion.

¨     V19-21 – is his appeal for God’s deliverance.


Before next part – communion – Isaiah 53. [Sally B]


The Song of Praise [22-31]


¨     There is a sudden and dramatic change of tone – from prayer to praise / from suffering to triumph.

¨     We are not told how God delivered him.

¨     Simply that God has not despised him [v24] as men have despised him [v6]. – God hear his anguished cry and in due time came to his rescue.

¨     He is now so elated with praise and worship that he wants everyone to praise God with him.

¨     TRUE worshippers are always missionary minded.

¨     True worshippers cannot conceive of praising God alone. [The height of selfishness is the person who is content to go to heaven alone]

¨     The remaining verses describe in ever increasing circles those he wants to worship God with him:-

² [V22-25] – he wishes to include all his fellow Israelites – descendants of Jacob / Israel.

² [v26] – he thinks of others who are still poor – fellow suffers – that they can share a sacrificial meal – eat and be satisfied.

² [v27-28] – his eyes look to the nations of the world

² not just his generation BUT all generations – those yet unborn!!

Hebrews 2:11-12 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says,     “I will declare your name to my brothers;

in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” (NIV)


¨     His desire is that the salvation he has experienced will be published abroad.

¨     Here a prophetic view that the Gospel of salvation is both universal and everlasting to those like the psalmist who cry to God for mercy.


The psalm is a prophetic description of the sufferings of Christ to whom true worshipper may come for salvation and also encourage / urge others to come to Him also.





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