Psalm 22

The psalms

Psalm 22
Foretelling key history in advance

Psalms index

Psalm 22 – Selected Bible Readings (NIV)

(A small selection follows. Please read all the Psalm.)

(Verse 1) ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34.

(Verse 14) I am poured out like water, and all my joints are out of joint.
(This well describes crucifixion.)

(Verse16 b) they have pierced my hands and my feet.
Matthew 27:35, John 20:25.

(Verses 17-18) I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide My garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:23-24

(Verses 27-28) All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over nations

(Verses30-31) Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn—for He has done it.

Read the whole of Psalm 22 here


Psalm 22 – Foretelling key history in advance

Psalm 22 (written by David) and Isaiah 53 (written by Isaiah) are both key in the Old Testament. They both foretell, in some detail, Jesus’ death on the cross, long before crucifixion was ever known in Israel. When were they written? Isaiah 53 in 700-681 BC and Psalm 22 about 1,000 BC—well before Rome crucified criminals there. The Holy Spirit caused history to be recorded in advance. This teaches us to trust God’s word, the Bible. Its focus is on Jesus. He died for us, rose again, forgives and enters the life of sinners who turn from sin and trust in Him. He gives eternal life to all who put personal faith in Him. He is only ever a prayer away from anyone who repents and trusts Him.

(Verses 1–2) HELPLESS
This Psalm is set in the immediate context of David’s position and feelings. But it is also Messianic, showing aspects of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ hundreds of years before death by crucifixion was known, as if it had already happened. These comments focus on Jesus Christ’s death as pictured here. It shows Christ’s submission to humble Himself, as God the Son, into a helpless position as Man, to empty Himself, and to be forsaken and judged on the cross by God the Father.

(Verses 3–5) HOLY
See God’s holiness here, just as in His faithful dealings with Israel in the past.

(Verses 6–8) HUMILITY
We look beyond David to see the self-humbling of Jesus as a ‘worm’, and not as a man. See the reproach, lies and spite of those who ridicule Him and mock Him.

(Verses 9–11) HISTORY
Jesus, the Son of Man, although conceived as a baby by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary, knows God as His Father in eternity, from eternity and for eternity. In his vulnerable humanity, He seeks divine help.

(Verses 12–13) HOSTILITY
At the cross, hostile men, like animals, encircle and threaten Jesus.

(Verses 14–15) HEART
Jesus’ body suffers. It is out of joint on the cross. His tongue dries up and sticks to His jaws. Jesus’ heart is like melted wax on that cross as He bears our sin and judgment.

(Verses 16–18) HORRIFIC
Christ is surrounded by wicked people who cry for His death. His hands and feet are pierced. His bones are seen in His suspended and stretched body. His garments are being divided among the soldiers, who cast lots for some of them. What a horrific way to treat any man, especially the sinless Son of God. (Remember Psalm 22 was prophetically written before execution by crucifixion—a Roman, not Jewish form of death penalty—was practised.)

(Verses 19-21a) HASTEN
Although abandoned on the cross, while bearing our sin and God’s wrath on it, Jesus knows that His Father is not far away, and that He will be raised from the dead. He can pray that God the Father hastens to help Him.

(Verses 21b–24) HEARD
He knows that His prayer is heard. He will rise from the dead.

(Verses 25–31) HOPE
As a result of the crucifixion of the Messiah, blessing will come on all sorts and conditions of people. Seekers will come to Him from all the ends of the world, from all nations, poor and prosperous, from dying and living, and from those yet to come. Only God can accomplish this. They rightly will say, ‘He has done this.’