Despair to Hope
It is almost uncanny how the poet describes the abandonment of
the sufferer by God to the scorn of evil people who mocked Him. The Hebrew poet-king
I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him (Psalm 22:6-8).
King David writes using gestures of helplessness, frailty, and
hopelessness in these verses. It is another vivid picture of the events at Calvary put in
writing a thousand years before they actually took place in history (Matt. 27:39-43).
They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring
loin (v. 13). The crowd at the crucifixion of Jesus did just that in graphic detail.
His bones were pulled out of joint at the hands, arms, shoulders and pelvis (v. 14).
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax;
it is melted within me (v.14). Perspiration pours profusely from the intense
suffering, and the exhaustion and strain affects the functioning of His heart. With His
strength exhausted, and dehydration, His tongue clings to His mouth from extreme thirst
(v. 15). My strength is dried up like potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my
jaws (v. 15).
We draw up near the cross in verse sixteen and hear him say,
For dogs [Jewish term for derision for Gentiles] have surrounded me; a band of
evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet (cf. Matt. 27:35;
Jn. 20:20, 25).
They stare at Him on the cross. He is so frail from suffering they
can count His bones on His naked body. Even the casting of lots for His clothing is
literally fulfilled (v. 18; cf. Matt. 27:35; Lk. 23:34; Jn. 19:24; 19:23; Mk. 15:24).
Any unbiased reader of this messianic poem must come to the
inescapable conclusion that it finds its historical fulfillment in the crucifixion of
The death of Jesus Christ made perfect atonement for our sins. He was
forsaken of God so we could be forgiven.
This matchless messianic poem also declares that the suffering
servant of God died in triumph knowing that His suffering produced perfect atonement for
the sinner. He tells how His prayer was heard and affirms that He will praise God before
the brethren in the great assembly.
There is an abrupt change in the steady progress of the poem from the
despair in suffering to one of renewed trust in God. Verses 22-31 conclude with the
results that spring from the resurrection. It closes with a message of thanksgiving and
hope in the anticipation of the proclamation of the good news.
I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the
assembly I will praise thee (v. 22). He admonishes others, You who fear the
LORD, praise Him (v. 23a).
Moreover, the message is not just for the Jewish brethren (vv.
22-24), but also All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and
all the families of the nations will worship before Thee (v. 27). Is this not the
great missionary message preached after the resurrection of Christ? (cf. Matt. 28:18-20;
Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:16; Phil. 2:8-11; Rev. 4-5).
The psalmist gives a great invitation for all to humble themselves
and trust in the Savior. Salvation is for those who fear the LORD (vv. 23,
25), seek the LORD (v. 26), remember and turn to the LORD (v. 27),
and bow down before Him (vv. 27, 29). It is for all who will call upon His
name and be saved.
People yet to be born in future generations will serve Him (v.
30-31). It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. They will come and
will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed
You and I are included in this great multitude (Jn. 17:20). The
Savior had you and me on His mind while He hung on the tree. Have you responded to Him in
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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