Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Advent 2023: November 23 - Psalm

Thursday, November 23rd: Psalm

Read Psalm 22.

If you are trying to find Jesus when you open up to Psalm 22, you do not have to look far.   The opening words give us a jolt if we are familiar with Jesus on the cross.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus in Matthew 27 and Mark 15 is recorded to have said those very words on the cross.  As Jesus was crucified, he prayed the Psalms.  This teaches us to look at the Psalms through the work and life of Jesus Christ.
And many take the words quoted by Jesus to be shorthand for Jesus saying the entire Psalm.  Add to it that Jesus says, “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” which comes from Psalm 31, meant that many believed that Jesus was praying his way through Psalms 22-31 as he hung on the cross.

But Psalm 22 gets even more pointed than just the first verse.  Verse 7 gives us an eerie view of the crowds that mocked him “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!”

Read that with Matthew 27:39 “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself!”
In Psalm 22, we even have the description of what happens to Jesus’ body on the cross: “They have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones…they divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.  John 19:24 quotes this verse directly saying that Psalm 22 was referring to Christ.

But while Psalm 22 gives us one of the clearest descriptions of Jesus on the cross, it also gives us the certainty of the triumph as well.
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord.”  This rejection will turn to glory.  This act of Jesus on the cross will become the turning point for all people to come to God, and indeed it is.

As we read Psalm 22, we can see the full scope of humanity focused in on the work of Jesus Christ.