Why would He do it? Why would King Jesus leave His throne in heaven to come to earth where He would be ridiculed, disrespected, and hunted down to be brutally murdered? Jesus knew exactly what would happen to Him. Psalm 22 author, King David, a member of the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:6-7), wrote a prophetic picture of the Cross of Christ. According to a footnote in The Passion Translation, thirty-three of the prophecies from this Psalm were fulfilled when Jesus was on the Cross. That would be one for each year of His life.
The first verse of Psalm 22 is a question that was asked by Jesus as He hung on the Cross. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Verse 6: "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people." It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for worm is "tola," which is also the word for crimson. There was a worm in the Middle East that bled crimson when it was crushed. Jesus was comparing Himself to this worm.
Verse 12: "Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me," The root word for bull means "to break or destroy." The word Bashan is a place but is also a word for serpent. David is describing the demonic spirits that would come against Jesus.
Verses 16-18: "...They pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garments."
Verses 23-24: "You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! Revere Him, all you descendants of Israel! For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help." Jesus is the one who cried to Father God for help.
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 the nations." Can Jesus find some comfort in knowing that His suffering will bring the people of the world into relationship with His Father?
Verses 30-31 (TPT): "His spiritual seed shall serve Him. Future generations will hear from us about the wonders of the Sovereign Lord. His generation yet to be born will glorify Him. And they will all declare, 'It is finished!'"
Notice the bookends for this Psalm. While Jesus was on the Cross, around 3:00 in the afternoon He cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) Having accomplished on the Cross all that Father God sent Him to do on the earth, Jesus declared, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) The death of Jesus completed the work of salvation for His Bride, The Church.
In His foreknowledge of what He would have to endure, Jesus asked His Father if He would take away His cup of suffering. (Matthew 26:59) But His priority was to complete His mission--to demonstrate the love of God. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the Cross; it was His love for us. We are the recipients of such love and can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today. As the apostle Paul says, "Your hearts can soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to us by living in the light. He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of His beloved Son. For in the Son all our sins are canceled, and we have the release of redemption through His very blood." (Colossians 1:12-14 - TPT) Hallelujah!!
Joan E. Mathias