Day 26: Psalm 22:25-31
25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
The first half of Psalm 22 gets a lot of attention. The Gospel of Matthew records the opening words of Psalm 22 as the final words that Jesus uttered as he died on the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabahchthani?” (Translated: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”) As one reads further into this “plea for deliverance from suffering,” it becomes rather jarring how prophetic this Psalm appears as Jesus was experiencing the very hostility that this Ancient Psalm describes; “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint... I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” The Psalmist and Jesus are both pleading for God to draw near. They feel the sting of forsakenness and are crying out for God to come close.
“Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.”
The final words of Jesus are compelling because they are the beginning to a song that ends not in lament and despair but in praise and, ultimately, hope. To read this latter half of Psalm 22 in isolation, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that the preceding content was that of suffering as there are no clues given in this hope-filled passage that it is a response to such great evil.
Herein lies the countercultural message of the gospel – that in our present suffering we cling to the hope of a God who is faithful to his people.
Wes Reece | Associate Worship Pastor, Lima Community Church