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THE GOSPEL FROM PSALM 22

 

PLEASE READ IN THE BIBLE (PSALM 22)

 

 

Psalm 22 was written by David, the inspired prophet of God.  Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, the language of the psalm goes far beyond David’s personal “anguish of soul” to the atoning sufferings of Christ that occurred around a thousand years later.  Psalm 22 has been called the “Psalm of the Crucifixion”.  Many graphic details are given of the suffering and death, on the cross, of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the Psalm of “The Good Shepherd” that we read about in, (John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”.  Psalm 22 is about the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a psalm about the cross and about His cry (verse 1) that went forth.  It is a psalm about the grace, the grief and the glory of the Savior.  It is a psalm about the Lord’s past ministry when He suffered for our sins on the cross of Calvary.

 

Before we look at this psalm in some detail we should consider the question of, “WHY was He hung upon a cross”?  Many people have a vague understanding of this important question.  Many people have heard that Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross but have never really considered WHY He was there.  Dear reader, does this describe you?  Have YOU ever really thought about this question?  The recent film, “The Passion of Christ”, has reminded many of the immense physical sufferings that Christ endured before and during the crucifixion.  The answer to the question of “why” is that He was there on the cross dying for your sins and mine.  Rarely will you read or hear any thing about sin or sins in our contemporary news media.  In our modern society people have an easy going attitude about sin.  The attitude is, “if it feels good then do it”.  There is no concern of future accountability and there is no fear of God because of the lack of respect for authority that permeates our society.  But, God has much to say in His Word, the Bible, about sin, about the seriousness of sin and about the consequences of sin.    It says in, (Romans 3:9-23) “Jews and Gentiles, they are ALL under sin”. “There is NONE righteous, no NOT ONE”.  “There is NONE that doeth good, no NOT ONE”. “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.  “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  “All the world … guilty before God”.  From these verses we have what has been described as “God’s portrait of mankind”.  The picture is dire indeed.  The whole world and each and every person are condemned as guilty sinners before a holy and righteous God.  We are ALL “born in sin and brought forth in iniquity” as it says in (Psalm 51:5).  It says in, (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon ALL men, for that ALL have sinned”.  Sin has consequences which are described in, (Romans 6:23) “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH”.  Death is not only physical, it is also spiritual.  Physical death is the separation of the soul or the spirit of the person from their body.  Death is not the end, however, for it says in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT”. Notice those important words “AFTER THIS”.  For the unsaved, physical death is followed by a second death.  This is a spiritual death and is an eternal death.  It is the confinement of the person to the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15, 21:8).  It is eternal separation of the person’s spirit or soul from God.  If YOU go to this awful place, at the end of this brief life, it will not be because God does not love you or has not provided salvation for you.  It says in, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.  If YOU die and go to hell it will be because you have not repented of your sin’s and believed in God’s beloved Son and received Him as your own personal Lord and Savior.  The good news, however, is that YOU can be saved and delivered from the wrath to come by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your own personal Savior.  (John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life”.  (John 6:47) “He that believeth on me (the Lord Jesus Christ) hath everlasting life”.  As we consider some things about the GRIEF and GLORY of the Savior from (Psalm 22) please be mindful dear reader that it was all for your sake, to provide salvation for you.    

 

 In this message we want to consider this psalm in its historic application by way of the following outline:

 

THE GRIEF OF THE SAVIOR- THE SOB, THE PLEA

1.       THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOR (verses 9, 10)

2.     THE REJECTION OF THE SAVIOR (verses 6-8)

3.     THE CRUCIFIXION AND SUFFERING OF THE SAVIOR

A)   The alternating periods of light and darkness (verse 2), (Matthew 27:45, 46)

B)   The mockery (verse 8), (Matthew 27:43)

C)    The taking of His garments (verse 18), (John 19:24)

D)   The piercing of His hands and His feet (verse 16), (John 19:37)

E)    His physical sufferings at the hands of sinful men (verses 11-17)

F)    His sufferings at the hand of a holy God (verses 1-3)

 

THE GLORY OF THE SAVIOR-THE SONG, THE PRAISE

4.     THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAVIOR (verse 21b) (Hebrews 5:7)

5.     THE EVER-WIDENING BLESSINGS RESULTING FROM CALVARY

A)   The  RECEIVING of the Sinner (the building of His Church) (verse 22)

B)   The RESTORATION of the nation of Israel (verse’s 23, 24)

C)    The RULE of the Nations, The King and His Kingdom (verses 25-28)

D)   The foundation of all blessings for mankind – the finished work of Christ (verse 31)

 

 

THE GRIEF OF THE SAVIOR – THE SOB, THE PLEA

 

THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOR (verses 9, 10)

It says in, (verses 9, 10) “But thou art he that took me out of the womb, thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mothers breast.  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly”.  From these words we are reminded of the birth of the Savior.  His birth was natural but it was more than a natural birth, God was giving His Son.  (Galatians 4:4) “But when the fullness of the time was come, GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON, made of a woman, made under the law”.  Not only was a child born but a Son was given as it says in this verse as well as (Isaiah 9:6).  (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  Dear reader, have YOU believed in Him and received Him to be your Lord and Savior?  From verses 9 and 10 of Psalm 22 we see that while He was humanly dependent, as a babe and young child, Jesus was also divinely preserved and protected as well.  For example, we read in (Matthew 2) that Herod the king heard that a child (Jesus) was born who would be called “king of the Jew’s”.  It says that he was troubled and that he would seek the young child to destroy Him.  In his anger, Herod slew all the children under two years of age that were in that area.  See (Matthew 2:12–23).  Because Jesus was divinely protected, Herod was unsuccessful.  

 

THE REJECTION OF THE SAVIOR (verses 6-8)

The Lord Jesus speaks of Himself in, (verses 6 & 7) “But I am a worm, and no man: a reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see me laugh me to scorn, they shoot out the lip, and they shake the head saying, (verse 8) He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him, let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.”  In this self description of the Lord Jesus we are reminded how far down He came from the highest place in Heaven.  “I am a worm”.  It means that in His obedience (Philippians 2:8, “He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”) He was despised, defenseless and downtrodden.  Like a worm, the Savior was crushed in death.  He said also of Himself, “I am no man”.  It does not mean that He was not a man but that He was a “nobody” in the eyes of men.  As He hung upon the cross they laughed in ridicule at Him.  They opened their mouth in blasphemy and mockery as He was suffering upon the cross.  It is interesting that the Lord’s enemies knew that He trusted in God, His Father.  They knew that God delighted in Him.  In their cruelty they used this against Him.  It says in, (Isaiah 53:3) “He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”.  Dear reader, How many years have YOU rejected the Savior?  If YOU have never received Him as your own personal Lord and Savior, YOU are still rejecting Him.

 

THE CRUCIFIXION AND SUFFERING OF THE SAVIOR (SELECTED VERSES – SEE OUTLINE ABOVE)

Psalm 22 brings before us the immense suffering of the Savior as He hung upon the cross.  It says in, (Psalm 22:2)”Oh my God, I cry in the DAYTIME, but thou hearest not, and in the NIGHT SEASON, and am not silent”.  Notice the alternating periods of light and darkness which are referenced in this verse.  The “daytime” would remind us of the first three hours that the Savior hung upon the cross.  The time period would be from the third hour (9:00am), when He was crucified, to the sixth hour (12:00 noon).  This was the time of the Savior’s physical sufferings at the hands of men.  Some of these sufferings and mistreatment are described in (verses 11-18).  In their antagonism to the Savior men became like beasts.  Jew’s are described as “strong bulls of Bashan” (verse 12).  Gentiles are described as “dogs” (verse’s 16, 20).  Satan is described as a “roaring lion” (verse’s 13, 21).  The “night season” would remind us of what it says in, (Matthew 27:45, 46) ”Now from the sixth hour (12:00 noon) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (3:00pm), And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”.  A supernatural darkness descended upon the land.  Mid day was turned to midnight, when the wrath and judgment of a holy God was poured out upon His beloved Son.  This was the time of the Savior’s spiritual sufferings at the hands of God.  It was dark, reminding us that no eyes could see, and no mind could understand and no tongue could explain what really took place in those three dark hours.  It was the time when, (Isaiah 53:6) “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.  It was the time when He was, (Isaiah 53:4) ‘stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.  It was the time when, (Isaiah 53:10 “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief, when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin”.  At the end of those three hours of suffering the Savior’s cry went forth, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?’  This was the climax of His sufferings on the cross, being forsaken by God.   He was not only despised and rejected by men, He was also forsaken by a holy God.

Why was He forsaken?  It is because God is a HOLY God and because the Savior took upon Himself YOUR sins and my sins.  He was forsaken that You and I may never have to be forsaken.

 

Dear reader, please notice the seriousness of sin and the consequence of sin that are brought to our attention from these events on the cross.  It was a loving God, a merciful and gracious God that, (Romans 8:32) “Spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all”.  It was a holy God, a righteous and just God that poured out His wrath and judgment upon His Son, (1 Peter 2:24) “Who bare our sins in His own body on the tree”.  If God would forsake His own beloved Son as He was bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, what about you?  If YOU die in YOUR SINS, You will be forsaken by God for all eternity.  Eternal punishment for the unsaved is the teaching of the Word of God.  If YOU die in your sins, unsaved,  you are facing an eternity of darkness and misery.  (John 3:36) “he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him”.

 

THE GLORY OF THE SAVIOR-THE SONG, THE PRAISE

 

THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAVIOR (verse 21b) (Hebrews 5:7)

In (verse 21) there is a sudden transition from an earnest appeal to calm assurance.  Between verse’s 21 and 22 there is an interval of silence that is to be understood.  The death, burial and resurrection of Christ take place at this time.  We read in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.  The resurrection of Christ is evident by the words in, (Psalm 22:21)”Thou hast heard me”.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s seal of approval upon the work of His beloved Son at Calvary.  Before the cross the Lord Jesus said, (John 10:18) “No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself (His death on the cross was a voluntary death) I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father”.  The Lord Jesus also said in, (Revelation 1:18) “I am He that liveth and was dead, (I became dead) and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and death”.  Jesus Christ is alive and has absolute authority over death (the state related to the body) and hell (the state related to the soul).  Hell (Hades) will hold the souls of those confined to it until the body and soul are reunited.  The unsaved will then stand for final judgment before the great white throne.  Read (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).   Those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive Him as their own personal Savior will NOT appear at the white throne judgment.  It says in, (Romans 10:9, 10) “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.  Dear reader, do YOU believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?  Have YOU openly confessed that Jesus Christ is YOUR Lord and Savior?

 

In the remaining verses of (Psalm 22) we have the fruit of the Saviors work on the cross.  The Savior’s sob and plea in the first 22 verses is replaced by the Saviors song and praise.  There is an “EVER-WIDENING FLOW OF BLESSINGS TO MANKIND AS A RESULT OF CALVARY”. 

·        (verse 22) – We have the RECEIVING of the sinner (the building of His church) in this dispensation of grace.  For all who are reached and saved by the grace of God, He call’s His own “my brethren”.  All who believe on Him are brought into this blessed relationship.  (Psalm 22:22) is quoted in the New Testament in, (Hebrews 2:11, 12) “He is not ashamed to call them (believers) brethren”. “Saying, I will declare thy Name unto my brethren”.  The New Testament applies (Psalm 22:22) to the church, all who are believers in this dispensation of grace.  It says in, (Acts 15:14) “God did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name”.  The Lord Jesus said in, (Matthew 16:18) “I will build my church”.  It says in, (Ephesians 5:25) “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it”.  It was on the cross that the Savior “gave Himself for the church”.  For 2000 years He has been building His church.  He is calling out of the Gentiles a people for His Name.  HAVE YOU HEARD HIS CALL?  If YOU are reading this message, He is calling YOU.  Hear His invitation in, (Matthew 11:28) “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.  Have YOU ever felt the heavy burden of your sins?  Will YOU come, in faith, that You might be saved?  The Hymn writer said:

 

Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidst me come to thee,

O Lamb of God, I come

 

Just as I am, and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot

To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come

 

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come

 

·        (verse’s 23, 24) – We have in these verses the RESTORTATION of the nation of Israel.  All of God’s unconditional promises to the nation of Israel will, in a coming day, be fulfilled.  The nation of Israel will not accept Him, however, until He comes back to this earth in great power and glory at His second advent.  Israel , as a nation, will glorify Him and worship Him.  In (verse 24) we have the confession of His earthly people who will acknowledge His death and resurrection.

·        (verse’s 25-28) – We have in these verse’s His RULE of the Nations.  It is about the King and His coming millennial Kingdom.  The Kingdoms of this earth will be His and in that Kingdom He will rule in righteousness among the nations.  It says that He is, (Revelation 19:16) “King of kings and Lord of lords.”  This dark, sin cursed earth will yet have a glorious future.  All who get saved in these days of grace are already brought into His kingdom.  It says in, (Colossians 1:13, 14) “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins”.

·        (verse’s 29-31) – Two classes of people are seen in these verses.  The first class are the unsaved which are  described as, “They that go down to the dust shall bow before Him”.  The time is coming when His Lordship will be acknowledged by every person, saved and unsaved alike.  It says in, (Philippians 2: 10, 11) “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father”.   The second class is the saved that worship and serve Him.  They, “shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born (the redeemed Israel).  The psalm ends with the words “that He has done it”.  We are reminded of His words from the cross, “It is finished”.  It is all His own blessed work.  The foundation of all future blessings for the redeemed result from the work of Christ on the cross.

 

 

In summary, Psalm 22 brings to our attention both the sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow.  All who repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Him, and receive Him as their own personal Savior, will share in His coming glory.    Dear reader, if YOU remain unsaved, it will not be because God does not love YOU, or because God’s Son did not die for YOU, but it will be because YOU have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Which will it be for You, RECEPTION or REJECTION of the Savior?  YOU are traveling the “highway of life”.  Now that YOU have read this message, YOU have come to the “crossroads”.  Which way will YOU go?  Will YOU continue to reject the Savior and His work on the cross?  Will YOU continue to refuse God’s gift of salvation?  Or, will YOU believe in HIM and receive Him as your Lord and Savior?  It is YOUR DECISION and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

 

Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Will YOU be a believer or a non-believer?  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.

 

Christian Messenger