Psalm 22 ~ 20190421 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
04/21_Resurrection Sunday; Psalm 22 – The Innocent Sufferer and Exalted Savior; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20190421_psalm-22.mp3
The Innocent Sufferer
Good Friday night we looked at Psalm 22, the Psalm of the Cross, because it gives us insight into the heart of Jesus, what he experienced on the cross, what he went through for us. Jesus pointed us to this Psalm by quoting its opening words from the cross.
Today I want to look quickly back over the first 21 verses of this Psalm, which focus on the innocent sufferer who cries out to the Lord, and then we will look at verses 22-31, which jump ahead into the experience of the hoped for deliverance, and give us a glimpse of glory.
The Cry of Abandonment
Verse 1 begins with the cry of abandonment that Jesus uttered from the cross:
Jesus experienced no rest, no answer from his Father, no salvation, a dark and desperate distance from his Father; he was abandoned and forsaken so that we could be received, reconciled.
Hope in the Character of God and the History of Deliverance
Verses 3-5 express unwavering hope in the character of God and the history of deliverance in spite of the current circumstances.
I love that phrase; 'enthroned on the praises of Israel' - the Holy one sits enthroned on the praises of his people. Today, your dependence on him, your cries to him and his rescue, your worship forms the glorious throne he is seated on.
Verses 6-8 describe the de-humanizing mocking of the crowds, the leaders of Israel, even one who was crucified alongside him.
He was despised and rejected so that we could be forever embraced, accepted.
Personal Dependence on the Lord
In verses 9-11 he recounts his own personal history of helpless dependence on the Lord
'None to help.' Jesus was abandoned even by his closes friends, so that we could enjoy sweet fellowship with our brothers and sisters both now and forever.
Physical Trauma of Crucifixion
Verses 12-18 liken the ungodly attacks of persecutors to wild and dangerous beasts; [oxen, a lion, dogs]
These verses are a vivid description of the physical trauma of crucifixion; hands and feet pierced, bones dislocated (but not broken), the agonizing thirst, the broken heart. The one who is the source of living water experienced unquenchable thirst so that we forever could be satisfied in his presence. He hung naked, exposed, vulnerable, so that we forever would be clothed in his perfect righteousness. He was broken and poured out so that we could be filled to overflowing. Jesus was laid in the dust of death so that we could experience abundant life in relationship with him.
Desperate Cry for Nearness and Rescue
Verses 19-21 repeat the desperate cry for nearness and rescue
Where verses 12-18 list his enemies as oxen, a lion, and dogs, these verses mirror that in a cry for rescue from the power of the dog, the mouth of the lion, the horns of the wild oxen.
He experienced distance so that we could be brought near by the blood of Christ
The last phrase in verse 21 is a hinge, a turning point in this Psalm. He moves from 'deliver me, save me' to 'you have rescued me.' The remainder of the Psalm moves from the present suffering to the future glory and speaks from the point of view that God has answered and the asked for salvation has come.
Welcomed as Brothers
This verse is quoted in Hebrews 2, where
Jesus, eternal God, humbled himself and became human to suffer and die for us. Because he took our nature and suffered in our stead, in his humanity he is not ashamed to call us his brothers. Do you see what this is saying? I (that's Jesus) will tell of your name (that's the Father) to my brothers (that's us!); in the midst of the congregation (that's us) I (Jesus) will praise you (the Father). Jesus, crowned with glory and honor, exalted back to the glory he had with his Father before the world existed; Jesus looks forward to the day when he will have brought us into his own glory, and together with us sing his Father's praise. Jesus, existing in very nature as God, does not cling to his equality with the Father, but gladly takes his place in the congregation he redeemed, singing with us his Father's praise!
The Affliction of the Afflicted Accepted
Verse 23 begins a call to worship.
Jesus is calling us, his brothers, to worship. God has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted. The Father has accepted the suffering of Jesus in our place.
The Father heard the prayers of Jesus. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt.26:39). There was no other way, and it was through his being forsaken that the Father's face is now toward us. The one who was rejected is now accepted, the one put to shame is now honored, the one abandoned and alone now stands with a great company of blood-bought brothers in the congregation.
God the Source of All Praise
'From you comes my praise.' The source of the praise is ultimately God himself; “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom.11:36).
'The afflicted' or 'the humble, the poor shall eat and be satisfied.' Because the Father has accepted the suffering of the Son in our place, we, the poor and humble can eat. Because of his thirst, we can be satisfied. We who deserve death will live forever with him!
The Global Scope of Worship
Verse 27 shows us the scope of this future glory:
Where verse 23 names the offspring of Jacob and Israel, here the call to worship is global; 'All the ends of the earth, all the families of the nations.' Pilate had the inscription hung above his head 'the king of the Jews'; but Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn.18:36).
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. To him every knee will bow. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord. Do you remember what he did for you? Do you remember what it cost? Have you turned to Jesus as Lord?
Both Poor and Prosperous Satisfied in Jesus
Verse 29 takes this even further.
Where verse 26 says those afflicted or poor and humble, those who seek him shall eat and be satisfied, here even the prosperous are included. 1 Corinthians 1 tells us that God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; not many wise, not many, powerful, not many noble were called. It does not say 'not any'; it says 'not many'. God can humble even the proud and prosperous so that we recognize our need and bow before him to receive his grace.
In Ephesians 1, Paul prays that God would give us hearts to see,
This is our hope, that because Christ was forsaken, we are accepted. Because Jesus thirsted, we can drink and be satisfied. Because he was pierced, we can be made whole. Because he experienced distance and separation, we are brought near by the blood of Christ. This is our gloriously rich inheritance.
It is God's immeasurably great power, resurrection power that is at work in us who believe. The same power at work in Christ to raise him from the dead is at work in us to raise us who were dead in trespasses and sins to new life in Christ.
Jesus is exalted over all, he rules all nations, and we are connected to him, we are his body! The Father gave Jesus to us! All things are under his feet; he is head over all and he is God's gift to us, the church!
Are you enjoying Jesus today as God's gift to you? Are you experiencing his immeasurably great resurrection power at work in you today?
His Righteousness Proclaimed; He Has Done It!
The great congregation will include both Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, and it will include both past and future. We tend to look at the coming generation and ask 'what is this world coming to?' (Remember, that's what your parents said about you!) God guarantees that there will be some from every generation around his throne singing his praises. Because of Jesus there is hope for every people group, for every socioeconomic strata, for every generation, even those yet unborn. The good news about Jesus will be told to the coming generation. That his righteousness, his perfect righteousness, is credited to the account of every person who depends on him. The sinless one died for sinners to make us righteous in God's sight.
They will be told that 'he has done it.' God has done it. There is nothing we can add. Salvation is accomplished. It is finished!
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org