“For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet ” (Psalm 22:16).
Eight hundred years before the cruel and brutal Assyrians and Romans began to sentence men to the historical crucifixion where metal nails would be driven into a man’s hands and feet to impale him to a Cross until he had cried out his exhaustive scream of pain and anguish, David prophesied the death of our Shepherd in graphic detail.
Why didn’t Jesus come when death was delivered quickly by a firing squad or a guillotine or a lethal injection? Why the crucifixion and the scourge of the Roman flogging? Why did He have to suffer for so long in such great agony?
If you could stand beside me when I build The Cross on college campuses, in prisons, before football teams and at men’s events around the world and listen to the truly sad, sad stories of the murder, abuse, rape, pornography, drug and alcohol addictions and experience through the conversations the horror of the effects of sin, you’d understand the severity of our offenses before a Holy God and the gigantic price that had to be paid by His Son for those sins committed.
Isaiah 53 gives insight into the necessity of suffering of the Lamb when the prophet declared, “by His stripes we are healed.”
- Psalm 22:1 & 2 – “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest.”
What is the significance of Jesus’ feelings of intense loneliness on The Cross?
- Psalm 22: 14 & 15 –“ I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death. ”
What are your thoughts about the necessity of Jesus’ six hours of suffering on The Cross?
- Psalm 22:15-18 -“ My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;and You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones.They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots .”
Luke 23:33 – “ When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. ”
In this graphic description of Jesus’ day of crucifixion delivered 1000 years before Jesus received the fulfillment of this prophecy, David speaks in empathetic clarity. How does this expression of prophetic care affect your intimacy with Jesus today?
- Luke23:44 -“ It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour .”
In response to His many hours of suffering, the familiar worship song, “How deep the Father’s love for us” was written to declare, “It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life. I know that it is finished.”
How do you personally connect with the lyrics of that insightful hymn?
- Psalm 22:22 & 23 -“ I will tell of Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the Lord, praise Him; all you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. ”
How do you daily respond to His suffering on behalf of your healing and forgiveness?
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock?
Psalm 22:19 -“But You, O Lord, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance” (Psalm 22:19).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication