The Suffering Savior

Whenever I encounter a psalm of David, I can always point the historical context of that particular psalm (i.e. Psalm 51 is a product of his cry when he sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba). Psalm 22, however, is remarkable for it is as if he were not the person authoring it since it is very hard to contrive a situation or a crisis in his life that would made him to write this psalm. As I read also the verses, I can’t help but to see Jesus Christ as he hang up on the cross. This is why; I infer that David here was acting a very precise prophecy that is really astonishing.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – the opening verse in Psalm 22, which is also the first words of Jesus while he was hanging on the cross (see Mat 27 and Mark 15). This was a very controversial statement for me before. How could God ever leave someone and in this case His own son? Indeed, this is a very strange utterance coming from the Savior himself. It took some time until I realized everything. That in this very hour God couldn’t. His very nature, being Holy, would not allow Him even to look upon Jesus simply because this man who has no sin was made sin and cursed to pay for your sins and mine. It just means, there happened a literal switch of places here – Jesus is now on our shoes and we are robed with His righteousness, justified just if we didn’t sin at all. Our sins and inequities that deserve that kind of punishment were all thrown to Him making God abandon Him. And It is interesting how the Godhead has to go to the extremes just to bring salvation for mankind, how He should be mistreated for us to be healed, how He should experience a very brutal kind of death for us to have life. Yet, many people take it very lightly.

And this surprised me a lot. The last words of Jesus in the cross mirror also the last words of Psalm 22. Jesus said, “It is done!” Everything the law requires has been satisfied for our own benefit. 1) The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us for us to know and to see the Father and be free from spiritual errors. 2) He, although very rich, chose to be raised up in a carpenter’s house so that in His poverty we would be rich. 3) He was humiliated, mocked and mistreated so we could be free from our shame and guilt. 4) He was wounded for us to be healed in our infirmities. 5) He was abandoned by the Father for us to be reconciled back to God. 6) I believe that a single blood-drop of Jesus is enough for the remissions of our sins but He still has to endure the pain up to the cross, that Simon Cyrene has to help Him because in the flesh He may not do it… it is with God’s design that He should withstand everything up to the cross for us to be set free from the curses and bondages of sin. For it is said “Cursed is everyone that is hung on the pole.”


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