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What the Bible says about Psalm 22
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 22:1

Psalm 22 begins with the exact words Jesus quoted when He was on the cross and all the sins of the world were put upon Him. The Father forsook Him because He cannot abide sin.

This was written about a thousand years before Christ died, and crucifixion was not practiced in the region at the time. The Romans brought this form of execution into prominence as a way to humiliate and dispose of their enemies. They would line the roads with stakes and crosses on which they would hang their enemies as an example for the rest of the world to see. Nevertheless, they did not start their murderous rush through the ancient Middle East and Europe until about the first century BC. So, roughly 900 years before it became common practice, David wrote about crucifixion.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension

Psalm 22:1

One cannot read this Psalm without seeing clear parallels to Christ's crucifixion. It describes an experience of David, who recorded his reflections—which became a prophecy of Christ's final hours.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 3)

Psalm 22:1-31

Perhaps the easiest way to see David as a prophet is to survey one of his most clearly prophetic psalms, Psalm 22. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm. Henry Halley, author of Halley's Bible Handbook, writes of this psalm, "[T]hough written a thousand years before Jesus, it is so vivid a description of the crucifixion of Jesus that one would think of the writer as being personally present at the Cross" (p. 254).

No one knows what event of David's life, if any, provides the background to his plaintive song, but it must have been the nadir of his sufferings, the most likely guess being sometime during Saul's pursuit of him. However, even if it is based on David's experience of persecution, Psalm 22 is so specific and detailed in its descriptions of Christ's crucifixion that it can in reality only be a divinely inspired prophecy of the execution of the Son of God—a full millennium before the events took place in Roman Jerusalem.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet

Psalm 22:9-10

In its most accurate sense, Psalm 22:9-10 can refer only to Jesus. While others were known and chosen for special works from the womb (for example, Jeremiah; see Jeremiah 1:5), only Jesus had a relationship with the Father from infancy.

Luke's account, particularly chapter 2, goes to great lengths to show Jesus' early relationship with God: "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40; see also verses 49, 51). His memory of God's help and presence from His earliest childhood only made His final suffering harder to bear: "Be not far from Me," He cries in Psalm 22:11, "for trouble is near; for there is none to help."

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 




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