The Messiah Speaks in Psalm 22
We are continuing to explore Professor Peter Stoner’s marvelous book, Science Speaks, which calculates the mathematical probabilities of Bible prophecies begin fulfilled.
Let’s now look at the very remarkable prophecies found in Psalm 22. This Psalm was written by David 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus. It describes in great detail the physical, the spiritual, and the emotional suffering of the Messiah before His death.
It begins in verse 1 with spiritual suffering. With the statement, “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?” Think of that for a moment. Jesus was a part of the Trinity. He had coexisted in the Trinity forever. He had perfect fellowship with His Father. And yet, as He hung on that cross, all the sins of mankind — all your sins — and all my sins were put upon Him. And, when that happened, it was as if God had to turn His back on Jesus because He could not countenance that sin. The perfect fellowship seemed to be broken for a second. And so, Jesus cried out from the depths of His heart, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” To me, that was the greatest suffering that Jesus had on the cross. Not the physical suffering. Not the emotional suffering. But, the spiritual suffering Jesus experienced.
In Psalm 22, David continues to talk about the suffering that Jesus had on the cross. For example, if you go to verse 6, you will see that he begins to talk about, “What a worm I am. I’m not a man. I’m a reproach of men. I’m despised by the people. All who see me sneer at me. They separate with the lip, they wag their head saying, ‘Commit yourself to the Lord, let Him deliver Him.”
In other words, David is saying that as the Messiah is dying that people will mock Him. They will sneer at Him. There will be this kind of emotional suffering as people reject Him. That is exactly what happened as Jesus was hanging on the cross. And, keep in mind again, this is written 1,000 years before Jesus was born.
Then, in verse 11, David picks up and he begins to talk about more of the suffering. He says, “Be not far from me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help.” He is crying out to God. He feels solitude. He feels deserted by His friends, for His friends did desert Him as He hung upon the cross.
Then, in verse 12, David continues talking about spiritual suffering. He says, “Many bulls have surrounded me, strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.” These are symbols he’s using for the demonic spirits who were dancing around that cross as Christ hung there bleeding to death for you and for me.
He continues, “They open wide their mouth at me as a ravening and roaring lion.” That lion’s a reference to Satan. Again, this is spiritual suffering as He hangs there. The demons of Satan believed they have got the greatest victory in all of history as they are killing the Messiah.
In verse 14, the Psalmist returns to the Messiah’s physical suffering. “I’m poured out like water,” He says, “all my bones are out of joint.” And yes, they were out of joint as Jesus hung on that cross.
The Psalmist continues, “My heart is like wax, it’s melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd. And my tongue clings to my jaws. And they lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me. A band of evil doers have encompassed me. They have pierced my hands and my feet.” He adds, “I can count my bones. They look, they stare at me. They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that’s exactly what happened as Jesus hung on the cross! Some 1,000 years after David wrote Psalm 22, the Roman soldiers cast lots for the only possession Jesus had in the world — the robe that He wore.
The most remarkable of all these verses is Psalm 22:16. In verse 16 David writes as the Messiah speaking, “They pierced my hands, and my feet.”
Think about that for a moment. This was written 1,000 years before Jesus was born. And yet, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David writes that the Messiah will die by having His hands and His feet pierced.
At the time this prophecy was written, there was only one way that the Jews executed people, and that way was by stoning them to death. One-thousand years later, the only way that Jews executed was by stoning people to death, and nothing had changed. Yet, David said the Messiah is not going to die by being stoned to death. He is going to die by having His hands and His feet pierced. This prophecy was not only 1,000 years before Jesus was born, this prophecy was 700 years before the Romans developed and perfected the art of crucifixion. This is an amazing prophecy. Absolutely amazing!
One other thing that I want to mention about this is going back to that verse 1, “My God, my God why have hast thou forsaken me?” Notice how the psalm ends with these words, “He has performed it.” That’s in the New American Standard Version. In the Hebrew it literally says, “He has finished it.” It is finished.
Because of that statement, many people believe that as Jesus hung on the cross He was actually quoting Psalm 22 and that it was truly about His own death, though written 1,000 years before His death. The people at the foot of the cross listening to Jesus wrote down only the first words, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” And the last words, “It is finished.”As #Jesus hung on the #cross He was actually quoting #Psalm22 about His own death! Click To Tweet
Wow! To me, this is one of most remarkable prophecies in all the Word of God. There is just no way in the world the fulfillment of Psalm 22 in the death of Jesus Christ could be by coincidence. King David’s writing of Psalm 22 had to be by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
If you would like to learn more about the amazing Science found in the Bible, watch the “Christ in Prophecy” episode titled “Stoner’s Defense of the Faith,” or continue on to the fifth segment of this series concerning the case of the two Bethlehems.