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With New Testament Eyes: 51 - The Psalm of the Cross

By Henry Mahan

      Psalm 22

      Mr. Spurgeon said, 'This Psalm may have been actually repeated word by word by our Lord when hanging on the tree. It begins with 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' and ends, according to some, in the original with, 'It is finished.'

      David and his afflictions may be here in a very modified sense; but, as the star is concealed by the light of the sun. He who sees the Lord Jesus will probably neither see nor care to see David. Before us, in this Psalm, we have a description both of the darkness and of the glory of the cross--the sufferings of Christ and the glory which shall follow.'

      v. 1. What is the one great cause of such a thing as for God to forsake his Son at such a time? There was no cause in him: why then was he forsaken? Christ was our substitute, who was numbered with the transgressors and who bore our sins in his own body. He endured our death, judgment, and hell, being separated from God for a time.

      v. 2. Our Lord prayed in the daytime of life and in the night season of death. Our Lord prayed when he was heard and even in this dark hour of desertion, when he was not heard. He believed perfectly for us, his elect.

      v. 3. Our Lord seems to marvel (as do all who know that the Father and Son are One) how the holy God could forsake him and be silent to his cries. But the argument is, 'thou art holy.' His mercy, love, and grace are seen in God's giving his Son to die for us; and the holiness of God is seen in the forsaking of Christ.

      God must be just and holy, even in the expression of his love.

      vv. 4-5. Our Lord pleads the past dealings of God with his people. Three times he says, 'They trusted,' and never left off trusting and were not put to shame. They trusted Jehovah (God our Saviour), Who in Christ will always hear. The plural pronoun 'our Father' shows Christ's oneness with them and us.

      v. 6. 'I am a worm.' What abasement! What a miracle! What a contrast between 'I AM' and 'I am a worm.' He was made lower than the angels (Psalm 8: 4-5), in the form of a servant, identified with Jacob, the worm (Mal. 3:6). He was forsaken that we might be accepted (Eph. 1:6).

      vv. 7-8. Our Lord endured every cruelty, scorn, and insult. Not only did he bear the wrath of God but the contempt of men.

      Read the account in Matthew 27:39-44. Find the five forms of taunts hurled at Christ in these verses.

      vv. 9-10. The Son of Man was marvelously begotten of the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:34-35). God prepared a body for him (Heb. 10:5- 7). From the womb he was God incarnate, the sinner's hope: and he knew from that day his mission was sure and secure (John 6:37-39).

      v. 11. Our Lord's great woe was that God had forsaken him. His great prayer was that God would sustain him even in this hour. 'There is none to help.' He must tread the winepress alone ('by himself purge our sins') and, being a man, must have Divine help. Our Lord is the Lamb slain from the beginning, but he must die! Our Lord has a people, but he must pray for them! Our Lord has all power, but as our substitute he prays for Divine presence.

      vv. 12-13. The mighty ones in the crowd are meant. The priests, Pharisees, rulers, and captains all surrounded the cross of this naked, rejected one, mocking him.

      vv. 14-17. Our Lord describes his condition and suffering. his greatest agony and suffering were soul miseries (Isa. 53:10-11), but the death of the cross was indescribable agony. He was utterly spent, like water poured out on the ground. The intense pain made his heart to feel like wax melted in the heat. His strength and moisture were dried up and his tongue swollen with thirst. They drove nails in his hands and feet; and he was so stretched upon the cross that one could see all his bones against the skin, pulled out of joint.

      v. 18. Every act of the wicked men at Calvary was prophesied in scripture (Acts 4:26-28: Acts 13:29-30.).

      vv. 19-21. O what a perfect Saviour! 'Having loved his own, he loved them to the end;' and even in his lowest hour of suffering, he wants nothing but his God. 'O Lord, my strength, deliver my soul from the sword (Zech. 13:7), my darling from the power of the dog.' Was not this prayer for us, his own? (John 11).

      vv. 22-31. Here in these verses is the foretaste of deliverance and victory! Our Redeemer beholds the glory of his triumph and the results of his suffering and rejoices (Isa. 53:11-12). 'I will declare thy name unto my brethren.' He speaks here of his church. He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb. 2:10-12).

      'The seed of Israel' is all believers (Gal. 3:7, 29). 'All the ends of the world and nations shall worship thee.' Our Lord has a people of every nation (Rev. 5:9).

      They shall come from all parts and declare his righteousness, those who are born of God; and it shall be said, 'the Lord hath done this!'

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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