Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Christocentric Word - Psalm 22

As I was reading Psalm 22 lately, the profound Christocentric nature of it filled my eyes with wonder. In this post, let us just focus on this Psalm to just help us digest the divine origin of it and the ample connections it has to Jesus' life.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 
This first verse makes a direct connection to Jesus straight away as we can see that the first question addressed by David was spoken, literally, by Jesus in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. Isn't that mind-blowing? It certainly blew my mind away. Therefore, I feel that David indirectly tries to show his readers the pain and suffering the Messiah will go through around a 1000 years later.

As the entire chapter unfolds, it is easy for us to assume that Psalm 22 was written completely from Jesus' perspective. However, we need to remember and acknowledge the fact that we can never understand God's word completely; His word has 'clues' here and there to prompt our thoughts in the right direction and to help the readers of the time prepare for the most important event in history. This is evident in Psalm 22. Thus, the entire Bible is 'Christocentric' as it is God inspired; a group of men from various time periods can't, on their own, weave such a beautiful, prophetic, one-message-centered book.

Verse 3, Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises, makes direct reference to Jesus. We can be certain that He is the only 'Holy One'. Verses 4 and 5 reassure the reader of this Christocentric principle observed by saying, In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
It is clear from the mission of Jesus' ministry and all that He taught, that He came to save the lost. Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 10:9 remind us that Salvation can only be found in Christ and through Christ. We can clearly see the connection between these verses above and this crucial truth, thus, it is clear that they're Christocentric.

Although verses 6 and 7 introduce verse 8, verse 8 really struck me as it makes a direct connection, like verse 1, to Jesus' life itself.
“He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
The above reminds us of the mockery Jesus faced when He was crucified from many present there, in one case even a criminal who was crucified with Him, these accounts can be found in Matthew 27:39-44, Mark 15:29-32 and Luke 23:35-39. This strong parallel that can be drawn between David's Psalm and the real incident recorded by three of the four Gospel writers is profound and jaw-dropping. 

As we move down the passage, in the later part of verse 16 and verses 17 and 18, there is another striking, obvious point pointing this passage to no one other than Jesus. 
...they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
Wow, what a reflection of the crucifixion! We know for a fact that Jesus was crucified in front of a largely mocking crowd, with nails pierced through His feet and hands(While some say that the Romans pierce nails through the wrist, the word used in the Bible, which represents hand, can be used to represent the entire upper arm section. However, some were nailed in the palm and it is also proven that, it is still possible to support the entire body.). We also know, especially from John 19:24, that His garments were stripped and divided among the soldiers. Psalm 22, like a prophecy, clearly describes Jesus' excruciating final hours.

As we read on, the rest of the verses are filled with great amounts of emotion that seem tangible and passion that creates vivid imagery; there is a lot that could be said about their Christocentric connections, but let us move on to the last three verses of this chapter.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
Verse 29 is reinforced by the victorious imagery present in Revelation as a result of God's reign and power. We also can see and are living testimonies of the fact that future generations have been told about the Lord and the victory He won over death even now, around 2000 years after Him, and generations to come will also hear about Him. Although verses 29 and 30 don't have striking parallels to Jesus' life, they are prophecies that will be fulfilled and that we can already see being fulfilled.
Personally, verse 31, did it all! Its Christocentric affiliation is subtle but powerful. People declaring "He has done it!", reminds me of the victory Jesus' won for us, over sin and death once and for all; this has been and will be a resounding, firm, joyous statement that will be proclaimed by all of God's children. This verse also wraps the entire Gospel message beautifully by pointing our thoughts to our Savior's last words on the cross, "It is finished." 

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