Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Psalm 22. The Psalm of the Crucifixion.
The deity and the humanity of our LORD Jesus Christ dwelt inside of a human body as the GOD-man. Our LORD lived in one of three options that HE possessed which was deity and humanity and also the Hypostatic-union or of the GOD-man in action.
This means that there were times that our LORD operated in HIS deity, then at times HE operated in HIS humanity; followed by HIM operating in the uniqueness of the GOD-man, which all together refers to HIS Hypostatic-union, a nature where both GOD and man dwell together in one person forever, the LORD Jesus Christ.
So, we have three examples given that reveal the nature our LORD would choose to operate under. For example, HE spoke from HIS deity at times such as in JOH 10:30, “I and the Father are one [and the same].”
Then there were times when our LORD would say things just from His humanity, His human nature.
He would say things like JOH 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.”
Only humanity can say “I am thirsty.”
Then there were times when He said things with both natures, deity and humanity or from His nature of the Hypostatic Union; our LORD said JOH 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
Now, I say this because of the passage I have chosen this morning because it gives us some insight into what our LORD was thinking and some of things that HE said when HE was nailed to the Cross.
Psalm 22 has been rightfully called the Crucifixion Psalm. In fact, it begins with a phrase that is written and quoted in all three languages that the Bible was written in which is Aramaic, Hebrew and the koine Greek. That phrase is found in PSA 22:1 which is a Psalm that David wrote and in the Hebrew language, which says PSA 22:1, My GOD, my GOD, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
It is that very first sentence that our LORD repeated when He was on the Cross in MAT 27:46, And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? [Aramaic]” that is, “My GOD, My GOD, why hast Thou forsaken Me? [this was written in the koine Greek].
This is one of the only verses in the Bible that is given in all three original languages because it is such a powerful verse it demands the utmost honor and respect. When David wrote this, I am sure that he really had no idea of the sacredness of the passage that he was about to write. In fact, if we had time to study the original Hebrew language here, we would see something that the average believer does not see unless they are under the teachings of a pastor who knows the original language in some measure.
Here is another doctrinal gem and a precious principle found in the Word of GOD that you might enjoy. PSA 22 is speaking of the Cross which was not used or not made popular until years after PSA 22 was written. And so, with that info as a background there are two verses in this Psalm that speak directly of the thoughts and words of our LORD especially when HE was being judged by HIS Father.
So, here’s one of those passages that GOD rewards the interpretation of the passage to those who diligently seek HIM. We start with the title I gave this Psalm, which is called the Psalm of the Crucifixion, PSA 22. I find it very interesting that not only does this Psalm talk about the Cross, but it also starts and ends on the Cross.
PSA 22:1, My GOD, my GOD, why hast Thou forsaken me?
This was quoted by our LORD in MAT 27:46, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My GOD, My GOD, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Then in one of the most popular statements that our LORD made just before He died is physically JOH 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” This was probably something our LORD read many times and therefore HE could think of the Cross doctrinally. What I find interesting is that the last verse in PSA 22, the Psalm of the Cross says PSA 22:31, They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, [and then notice the last phrase which says] “He has performed it.”
And if you haven’t put it together yet, it is saying the same thing that our LORD said when HE said Tetelestai which means HE has finished or completed and performed what HE was ordained for. And so, I do no think that this is stretching the truth or that it is a coincidence or a lucky break, I believe this was purposely given by GOD the Holy Spirit as He inspired King David to write this song or Psalm.
This Psalm is actually a photograph of our LORD’s darkest hours and a record of HIS dying words. You have heard me mention the fact that many individuals say things on their dying bed that are very meaningful and therefore we should listen very carefully. Here David takes us deep into the horrors of the Cross while at the same time we are made to see the fruits of TLJC and HIS passion in the dispensation of the Hypostatic-union when HE was willing to die for all.
Even though this Psalm was the expression of personal anguish on the part of David crying out and saying, My GOD, my GOD, why hast Thou forsaken me?, this in no way invalidates the claim that this was to be a prophecy concerning our LORD Jesus Christ upon the Cross. And so, although David and his afflictions may be here in a very real and modified sense, all who see the LORD Jesus Christ will neither see nor care to see David in this Psalm.
Because as JOH 12:21 says concerning those Greeks who were searching for truth and wisdom and they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” And that is exactly my wish and desire for all of us this morning who are here but “they want to see Jesus,” and so do I.
There is no greater accurate expression of our LORD’s thoughts and feelings during the awful six hours on the Cross in all of the Scriptures than what we have in Psalm 22.
PSA 22:1, My GOD, my GOD, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
This of course was quoted by our LORD in MAT 27:46. It was a phrase that caused the Jews to mock but the elect angels to rejoice. Therefore PSA 22:2 states the unanswered prayers of our LORD on the Cross, when HE thought what David wrote when HE said “O my GOD, I cry out by day [the day refers to the first three hours on the cross, from 9 a.m. ‑ 12 noon]
The phrase “cry out by day refers to the first three hours on the cross during the daytime from 9 a.m. ‑ 12 noon.
PSA 22:2 goes on to say, and He also “cried by night, but He said I have no rest.”
The night time refers to the continued prayer of our LORD during the darkness that surrounded the Cross from 12 NOON ‑ 3 PM, when HE was being judged for our sins.
Please notice that the brightest time of the day in the Middle East happens between 12 noon and 3 PM. So that in the brightest time of day, 12 noon to 3PM, it was the darkest hour of all eternity, both past, present and future, all of them are a part of eternity, which has no beginning and no end.
PSA 22:2, O my GOD, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer;
Next David writes “And by night, but I have no rest.”
PSA 22:3 tells the reason why that prayer could not be answered in one phrase, (which is) “You are Holy. You who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.”
GOD the Father was imputing our sins to Christ and judging them from His Holiness and therefore, the LORD is saying prophetically that because GOD is Holy HE can have nothing to do with sin except to judge it. Therefore, GOD the Father couldn’t answer the prayer for deliverance on the cross because as Hab 1:13 says that GOD can’t even look upon sin and have anything to do with it, except to judge it!
Now, when our LORD was on the cross being judged by GOD the Father for our sins, not HIS but Ours! Our LORD knew that however things may look, there is no injustice and unfairness with GOD.
Do you believe that?
Do you believe that your LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ has always treated you fair and just?
Do you believe DEU 32:4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A GOD of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
Do you believe that the Rock who was perfect was our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ?
We know that the Rock is the LORD as the apostle Paul tells us in 1CO 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Many people speak evil of GOD when they are under His afflicting hand but not so with our LORD, He knows HIS Father too well to let outward circumstances defame His character.
Therefore, in PSA 22:4‑5, our LORD even pointed out to the Father that the believers in the Old Testament trusted in HIM and because they did HE delivered them. And so, our LORD is saying or thinking these thoughts while HE was on the Cross feeling so alone. Look at our LORD’s thoughts at this time.
PSA 22:4-5, In Thee our fathers trusted; They trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. To Thee they cried out, and were delivered; In Thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.
Our LORD is saying that GOD the Father HE had previously delivered Israel under strict conditions.
“Our fathers trusted in You [faith‑rest]; they trusted, and You delivered them [You answered their prayers].
Now here is a sad commentary on why GOD the Father help believers in the Old Testament but could not help HIS only begotten Son who is praying for help from the Father.
Now, there are some excellent reasons why GOD the Father could answer certain individuals in the Old Testament, hear their prayer, and also rescue them but HE couldn’t do the same for HIS own Son.
Now, before we go on I want to remind you that we are trying to understand why some passages seem to say or insinuate that our LORD was getting weak, starting to doubt, living in fear, etc.
However, you must remember that some of our LORD’s statements HE said for us and to us because HE wants us to know the type of suffering and thinking that believers may have to go through themselves, alone!
Out of all their difficulties and miseries, their faith brought them out of it by calling GOD to the rescue but in the case of our LORD, HIS perfect faith brought no assistance from Heaven. Think about this – another gem --- Of all the ones who ever trusted in GOD throughout their lifetime, He would be the only one forsaken by GOD.
What a statement!
What a tragedy!
What a time for us to say; “Thank You LORD.”
Now, there are times that it may seem that GOD has forsaken you, but we will never be forsaken by HIM in HEB 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
So why couldn’t our LORD’s prayer be answered?
HE was being crushed for our sins, so that you and I, as royal family of GOD, could wear the crimson robe of the royal family forever.