Psalm of the Cross – The Good Shepherd

Psalm 22

“Psalm 22, 23, and 24, prophetically speaking, constitute a trilogy. They typify Christ as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep, the Great Shepherd who leads His sheep, and the Chief Shepherd who enters the gates of Jerusalem in all His glory.” Bartsch

“This is beyond all others THE PSALM OF THE CROSS. …It is the photograph of our Lord’s saddest hours, the record of his dying words, the lachrymatory (tear-bottle) of his last tears, the memorial of his expiring joys. David and his afflictions may be here in a very modified sense, but, as the star is concealed by the light of the sun, he who sees Jesus will probably neither see nor care to see David.” Spurgeon

Aloneness – beginning with betrayal and scattering; Abuse – arrest and trial; Affliction – crucifixion; Assistance – resurrection; Affirmation and Adoration – Ascension, Pentecost and following.

A. Messiah’s Aloneness (1-5)

suffering words can’t express (groaning) – abandoned/forsaken by God but not forsaking God (1)

on that day, Father treated Son as he will treat rebellious sinners; face not simply turned away, was turned against him

but where could Son turn? no alternative. Kept focus on Father – my God 3x, v.1-2

unresponsive to persistent prayer (2)

“He was not heard, that we might be heard! The ears of God were closed against Him for a season, that they might never be closed against us—that the mourner’s cry might forever find a way to the heart of God—because the cry of Jesus was shut for awhile out from Mercy’s gate.” CHS

but… something’s wrong (3-5)

you are holy – do what is right; your sovereign holiness obvious when your people praise you

you have a history – previous generations trusted, you delivered

you have heard – they called, you answered

conclusion: can’t go with feelings, have to go with knowledge

Lord Jesus, from his human perspective, all evidence pointed to Father’s abandonment; yet, in glorious paradox, while abandoned as we deserve, was simultaneously aided and upheld by Father. Had to rely on what he knew to be true in order to survive ordeal.

“First, though God deserted Christ, yet at the same time he powerfully supported him: his omnipotent arms were under him, though his pleased face was hid from him: he did not have his smiles, but he had his supports. So, Christian, just so shall it be with thee: thy God may turn away his face, but he will not take away his arm.” John Flavel

B. Messiah’s Abuse (6-11)

contrary to ancestors (they were delivered), “I am…”

treated with contempt (6-7)

pit keeps getting deeper, God and hope getting further away; just as profoundly disturbing – display of depths of man’s depravity in unjust & cruel treatment of another

mocked for faith (8)

nearly verbatim quote – Matt. 27:43 – taunts of religious leaders, 2 criminals

“He saved another, himself he could not save” (Mark 15:31) a true statement; to do so would have forfeited our salvation

“Thomas Carlyle tells of a Scotsman who once, when ascending a coal shaft of a mine in the bucket, found the strands of the rope giving way. One had already snapped, and the other was breaking. There was another man in the basket, but the rope would not hold both. In a moment his purpose was formed. He was not afraid to die. He turned to his companion and quickly said: “Goodbye! You are not ready, and I am; meet me in heaven!” and he dropped from the basket to the bottom of the shaft. He saved another, himself he could not save. There was room only for one life. So the Master “died to save us all,” and bore the jeers and taunts of men that they who mocked Him might not die, but be saved by His very sacrifice.”

only one source of hope

security (9) – dependence/trust (10)

all he’s ever known is trust in God, security he provides; experience has proved God’s reliability, man’s lack of

even though silent, I must call on you, trust in you (11)

trouble may be near but mercy seat is nearer – just as true for “modern” saint as David or David’s Son

C. Messiah’s Affliction (12-18)

hopelessly surrounded (12-13)

did Peter have this picture in mind? 1 Pet. 5:8your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”

aspect of Jesus’ torment on cross that’s not readily visible: antics of demonic world, rejoicing over seeming victory

losing strength and life (14-15)

graphic picture here and in following verses of Jesus’ crucifixion plus fulfilled prophecy

final humiliation (16-17)

as described by Isaiah – He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

done deal – no hope of recovery or rescue (18)

he won’t need his clothes back, might as well figure who gets what – at his very feet, under his gaze

D. Messiah’s Assistance (19-21)

even “in death” God still near (19)

Rom. 14:8For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”

Jesus may have experienced death but did not experience abandonment in death: “into thy hands…”

even when all other hope is gone God can still deliver (20-21a)

multitude and magnitude of enemies not significant to God – humans, dogs, lions, oxen – large, powerful, fierce

21b – turning point of psalm – answered prayer: deliverance from death

David delivered from dying at that point of crisis

greater David delivered from hold of death by means of resurrection

like other prophecies incl. Isa. 53 – doesn’t end with cross and death; looks beyond to effect, results, God’s purpose

E. Messiah’s Affirmation (22-24)

personal public praise (22)

certainly David praised God for deliverance; Jesus did, too: instructions to Mary Magdalene

John 20:17go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’

1 Cor. 15:5-6 He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,

exhortation to public praise (23)

Acts 1:8 You shall be witnesses to Me…; valid for 1st generation (apostles) and their successors

justification for praise (24)

in spite of (early) appearances Father hasn’t abandoned his own; did hear and respond in his perfect time – 3rd day

F. Messiah’s Adoration (25-31)

resurrection brings results! worship (27)

vision gets larger – great congregation (25)

shouldn’t despise 2 or 3 for smallness; also shouldn’t despise large congregation for insincerity/anonymity

Jesus “appeared” to congregation of 500+; “great congregation” began with that, but not limited to it (there’s more coming)

beginning of blessing – all “classes” (26)

the poor, the seekers – will be fed and satisfied, will find the one whom they seek

further blessing – all “nations”

v27-end: if Psalm refers to David till now, this statement and following takes it to “Messianic” level – eschatological hope

fulfillment of promise to Abraham – blessing foretold for all families is acknowledged in worship by all families Gen 12:1-3

kingdom advancement (28-31)

global spiritual rulership (28)

“my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:34)

still in context of worship – “bow before him” (29)

encompasses all stations of life

encompasses all future generations (30-31)

had disciples on road to Emmaus remembered this Psalm, would not have been downcast – world didn’t end with Jesus’ death! Much more to come, foretold even in David’s day.

Not coincidental that we worship on Sunday rather than Saturday. 7th day God rested, sanctified the day; in command to observe, declared it’s commemoration of his work of creation (Ex. 20:11; 30:17), work of deliverance from captivity in Egypt (Deut. 5:15). First day Christ arose, sanctifying the day that commemorates God’s work of new creation, work of deliverance from captivity in sin. Our task – to be part of that posterity that serves Him, to recount His great works of redemption to next generation, those who have not yet been born.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s