Psalm 22; Matthew 27

52 Weeks at the Table – Week 19

When the four gospel writers sparingly record the events of the crucifixion, they seem to be directed by the twenty-second Psalm in the details which they choose to disclose:

The mockery and insults. The thirst. The exhaustion. The piercing of hands and feet. The dividing of garments and casting of lots. The plaintive cry, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

What they leave unsaid are the parts of the psalm that the people of their day would have sung and heard many times in their lives; the words of unswerving faith and confident praise from King David’s plea for mercy and help. No doubt its lament and recognition of God’s power had sustained them in the humiliation and enslavement following the conquests of Babylon, Greece and Rome.

“Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.”

“I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.”

“From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.”

“Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn — for he has accomplished it.”

God of heaven and earth, we cannot help but recall the moment Your Son was suspended between them when we eat this bread, His body. For deep within, we know the answer to His question, “Why?” – and it is our sin. So we share His faith, His righteousness as we share this bread in gratitude and witness to the salvation You have brought … for You have accomplished it through Jesus. Amen.

Lord, we put our trust in You as did our forefathers in faith, and You have delivered us. We will declare your name to our brothers; in the congregation we will praise you. We will fufill our vows to live like Your Son. We will serve Him and tell future generations about Him and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn through the sharing of this cup, the blood of the Christ, the Son of God. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Psalm 22; Matthew 27

  1. I have thought for a while now that when Jesus quoted Psalm 22 he meant the whole thing and not just 22:1. Jesus did that on other occasions (John 2:17/Psalm 69:9) where he quotes a verse but the context is obvious that he means more than just that one verse. For the reasons in the post below I don’t believe Jesus was forsaken on the cross, in spite of what you hear at the Lord’s table every couple of months.

    < HREF="http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/did-god-forsake-jesus-on-the-cross/" REL="nofollow">Did God Forsake Jesus on the Cross?<>

  2. Dictionaries variously define “forsaken” as: to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert; to give up or renounce.” There’s a sense of <>forever<> in the word, and clearly that did not happen. God did not abandon Jesus’ soul to the grave, but raised Him to life in a matter of hours.

    Nor – as you point out, matt – was Jesus mistaken about being forsaken; He was simply quoting this rich psalm of praise and plea for deliverance.

  3. I think you are right on track. I think Jesus’ point was that he was identifying with the psalmist at the beginning of Psalm 22 – “this is how things appear” but “there is more to the story!” as you continue to read the rest of the psalm. I think that is what Jesus was getting at in that quotation.

  4. i’d like to apologize for causing any trouble on the other post. i certainly contributed to the discussion going way far afield. And i genuinely thought i had understood what you were suggesting in my last response. anyway, sorry for any frustration.

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