Suffering and Exultation
For [the LORD] has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24
When David wrote about his suffering in Psalm 22, did he know his words were prophetic? In the psalm, he graphically described in great detail something that would happen two thousand years later: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
David felt forsaken by God when he cried out day and night without an answer (Psalm 22:1-2). After a night and day of cruel beatings and false accusations, Jesus was nailed to a cross. There, He cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
We sometimes feel like God has forsaken us when our sins separate us from Him. But He will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Because of Jesus’ perfect, once-for-all sacrifice, we can confess our sins and receive forgiveness (Hebrews 9:24-26).
Both David and Jesus were scorned, despised, mocked, insulted, ridiculed, stared at, and stripped (Psalm 22:6-18 and Matthew 27:27-31). “Pierced hands and feet; poured out like water, bones out of joint, dying of thirst, heart melting like wax, strength gone …” Did David experience this pain or see it in a vision?
Is there any pain we experience that Jesus didn’t experience? He was rejected by His own people and subjected to a cruel punishment. He was taunted by Satan and his demons, who waited for an opportunity to devour Him.
David prayed, “Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs” (Psalm 22:12-13, 20). How interesting that Jesus died before the Roman soldier pierced His side with a sword (John 19:30-39).
Three days after His horrible death, Jesus Christ rose victoriously from the grave. Psalm 22:30-31 says that people from all the ends of the earth will turn to the LORD, and “they will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” Two thousand years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, people from all over the world have heard and believed.
This Easter, will you celebrate Resurrection Day and serve the risen, righteous Perfect Sacrifice? Will you exult in His victory and proclaim, “He has done it”?
Read Exodus 12:43-46, Psalm 34:19-20, John 19:31-37, and 1 Peter 1:17-20. Why is it significant that none of Jesus’ bones were broken? How does that affect you?
According to Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:5-7, what is the result of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice? Have you been washed from your sins by His blood, or will you be among the wailers?
Using only the Bible verses cited in this devotion—including the questions—can you state what has been fulfilled that was written about Jesus Christ in the law, the prophets, and the psalms (Luke 24:44)?
For more on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, see “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”, Passion, and The Risen Christ. You’ll find them under Dig into Holidays.
Nancy J. Baker
Note: This devotion is part of a series: Psalms of the Messiah