Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Crucifiction and Psalm 22

...God My God...This Easter the thing that is hitting home the most came from this post: He's Calling for Elijah! Why We Still Mishear Jesus. The article talks about  the phrase from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". It's a good article, but what really stuck with me is that the watching Jewish crowd should have in a second understood that Jesus was quoting from Psalm 22. Instead of reading this phrase as an indication that the Father has left the Son (a problem for the Trinity), we should read it as Christ pointing to His fulfillment of the Psalm as a whole.

Over the past couple of days since I read the article, I've read Psalm 22 multiple times, and it's true. My goodness, I've just never made the connection before. The phrase Jesus quotes is the first line, and it's as if the crucifixion story in Matthew is Psalm 22 written out as a story. The prophecy and fulfillment are stunning. The entire Psalm in this context is stunning. What Jesus must have been saying about His purpose and future through quoting the Psalm in those last breaths is stunning.

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
        Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
    O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
        and by night, but I find no rest.
    Yet you are holy,
        enthroned on the praises of Israel.
    In you our fathers trusted;
        they trusted, and you delivered them.
    To you they cried and were rescued;
        in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
    But I am a worm and not a man,
        scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
    All who see me mock me;
        they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
    “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
        let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
    Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
        you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
    On you was I cast from my birth,
        and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
    Be not far from me,
        for trouble is near,
        and there is none to help.
    Many bulls encompass me;
        strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
    they open wide their mouths at me,
        like a ravening and roaring lion.
    I am poured out like water,
        and all my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like wax;
        it is melted within my breast;
    my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
        and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
        you lay me in the dust of death.
    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.
    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!
    I will tell of your name to my brothers;
        in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
    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.
    From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
        my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
    The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
        those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
        May your hearts live forever!
    All the ends of the earth shall remember
        and turn to the LORD,
    and all the families of the nations
        shall worship before you.
    For kingship belongs to the LORD,
        and he rules over the nations.
    All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
        before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
        even the one who could not keep himself alive.
    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 ESV)


josh said...

couldn't agree more. it also occurs to me that we sometimes misunderstand what it means for Jesus to "fulfill" OT prophecy (esp. Psalms). did Psalm 22 look like a text in "need" of fulfillment? no, at least, not until Jesus fulfilled it. what would it look like if we stopped thinking about texts like these as "Messianic Psalms" and started thinking about Jesus as a Psalmic Messiah (the quintessential righteous sufferer)?

Kacie said...

Psalmic Messiah. I like.