Psa 22, overview
HISTORICAL SETTING: Possibly David's sickness and
bitter experiences at the time of Absalom's rebellion. Peter offers the inspired
commentary (on other of David's psalms) that "David, being a prophet and
knowing....he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ" (Act
2:30,31). And, again, "David speaketh concerning him..." (Act 2:25). So perhaps
Psa 22 should be considered as in a relatively special category, of prophetic
vision by David, having little if anything to do with his own
- Vv 1-21: The victim, his sufferings, and his
enemies... or, the sufferings of Christ.
22-31: The God-glorifying outcome of this tribulation... or, the glory that
RECITED ON THE CROSS?: This psalm, recited in full on
the cross, was one of the great solaces of the suffering and dying
PSALM 22 IN ITS LARGER CONTEXT:
- V 8 was quoted by the men who had condemned Jesus, thrown at him in scorn!
Irony: they quickened his tiring mind to a Scripture uniquely appropriate to all
his circumstances. Thus, all unsuspecting, his enemies brought wonderful
reinforcement to his failing spirit. And how these evil men would be startled
when he took up their blasphemous use of Holy Scripture and identified himself
with the whole psalm, from beginning to end.
- Jesus certainly quoted v 1, in
a slightly modified form (Mat 27:46; Mar 15:34).
- "It is finished" (Joh
19:30) is the exact equivalent of "He hath done this" (Psa 22:31).
- Joh 19:28
has been often misread: "....that the scripture might be fulfilled, [he] saith,
I thirst." To assert that Jesus said "I thirst" just to fulfill one small
prophecy (Psa 22:15) as the only one which he had not yet fulfilled, is a
trivialization of Scripture. Here the word "fulfilled" is not the normal word
for the fulfillment of prophecy (not, for example, the same as in Joh 19:24,36);
its meaning is: "that the scripture might be finished...(ended, or completed)".
Jesus was reciting the psalm, but was too parched to go on, and at v 15 ("My
tongue cleaveth to my jaws") he desperately needed a drink, and having received
it, he was able to go on to the end ("It is finished"), spoken with head
- When Jesus said: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," why should Jews
standing by (they could not possibly have been Romans) mistakenly think that he
was calling for Elijah? Could Eli really be mistaken for Eli-yahu? But if they
heard Jesus recite v 8 ("He trusted on the Lord, and he will deliver him"), the
Heb of that phrase is virtually an echo of "Eli-yahu." Hence: "Let us see
whether Elijah (Eli-yahu) will come to save (deliver)
(1) The cross of Christ:
(2) Christ our shepherd:
- Psa 22: The cross from Messiah's
- Isa 53: The cross from our
(3) Christ our sacrifice:
- Psa 22: The Good Shepherd in death (The Past)
("I lay down my life": Joh 10:11,15).
- Psa 23: The
Great Shepherd in resurrection (The Present) ("Lo, I am with you always": Mat
- Psa 24: The Chief Shepherd in glory (The
Future) ("Come, ye blessed of my Father": Mat
- Psa 22: The perfect
- Psa 40: The perfect
- Psa 69: The perfect