May 10, 2014

Tom Lowe



Psalm 22 (KJV)



Title: The Psalm of the Cross

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar (or the hind of the morning)

A psalm of David.





This psalm is called the Psalm of the Cross. It has been given this name because it describes more accurately and minutely the crucifixion of Christ than does any other portion of the Word of God. It corresponds, needless to say, to the twenty-second chapter of Genesis and the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.


In Psalm 22 we have an x-ray which penetrates into His inner life. In this psalm we see the anguish of His passion; His soul is laid bare. In the gospels is recorded the historical facts of His death, and some of the events that attended His crucifixion; but only in Psalm 22 are His thoughts revealed. It has been the belief of many scholars that actually the Lord Jesus, while on the cross, quoted the entire twenty-second psalm; but since it is not recorded in the Bible that belief is placed in the category of conjecture.


Instead of standing beneath the cross and listening to Him, we are going to hang on the cross with Him. We shall view the crucifixion from a new vantage point—from the cross itself. And we can look with Him on those beneath His cross, as He was hanging there, and see what went on in His heart and in His mind. We shall see what occurred in His soul as He became the sacrifice for the sins of the world. As He was suspended there between heaven and earth, He became the ladder let down from heaven to this earth so that men might have a way to God.


We were there, if you please, on that cross as He was made sin for us—“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Co. 5:21). We were as truly on that cross as He died as we today are in Christ by faith. Peter put it like this: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Pe. 2:21).


This is an unusual psalm in that there is no reference to sin as the cause of the trouble, no plea of innocence, no claim of righteousness, and no vengeance. Therefore the words are peculiarly appropriate when applied to the suffering Messiah, although in their primary meaning they are based on some experience of the psalmist.








Psalm 22 opens up with the plaintive and desperate cry of the poor, lone Man forsaken by God.



1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?


What we have here is something I want to emphasize from the very beginning—a record of His human suffering. We see Him as a man nailed to the cross, “. . . the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). We get more light on this matter by turning to the Epistle to the Hebrews: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). This is what we are looking at—the One who left heavens glory and became a Man. He became a Man in order to reveal God to us, yes, that is true; but most of all, it was to redeem man. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14).


He could save no one by His life; it was His sacrificial death that saves. “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:15-16, 18). We see the Man Christ Jesus on the cross as perfect Man. He had learned to rest upon God. He had learned to trust Him in all that He did. He said, “. . . I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). But all the way back in that desperate and despairing hour He was abandoned by God. There was no place He could turn, either on the human plane or on the divine. He had no place to go. The Man Christ Jesus was forsaken. No entirely human man has ever had to experience that. No one. Only Jesus alone.


When Jesus spoke these words from the cross—“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—He was quoting this verse, and that gives it unique sacredness (Mark 15:34{14]).


Why did God forsake Him?



2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.


Why was He forsaken by God? Because on the cross in those last three hours, in the impenetrable darkness, He was made sin.


But none of the ransomed ever knew

How deep were the waters crossed;

Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through

Ere he found His sheep that was lost.


He was forsaken for a brief moment. The paradox is that at that precise moment God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. And the Lord Jesus Himself said, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). The Father was with Him when He was in prison, the Father was with Him when He was being beaten, and the Father was with Him when they nailed Him to the cross. But in those last three hours He made His soul an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him (Isa. 53:10{1]).


Forsaken. My friend, you do not know what that is; and I don’t know what it is to be forsaken by God. The vilest man on this earth today is not forsaken by God. Anyone can turn to Him. But when Christ takes my sin upon Himself, He is forsaken by God.


“Why hast thou forsaken Me?” It is not the “why” of impatience. It is not the “why” of despair; it is not the “why” of doubt. It is the human cry of intense suffering, aggravated by the anguish of His innocent and holy life. That awful and agonizing cry of the loneliness of His passion! He was alone with the sins of the world upon Him.


“Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (v. 1). Roaring? Yes. At His trial He was silent, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). When they beat Him, He said nothing; when they nailed Him to the cross, He did not whimper. But when God forsook Him, He roared like a lion. It was a roar of pain. Have you ever been in the woods when dogs attacked an animal? Have you heard the shriek of that animal? There is nothing quite like it. And that is what the writer is trying to convey to us here. I think that shriek from the cross cracked the rocks, for it had been His voice that created them. Now the Creator is suffering! On that cross He cried like a wounded animal; His was not even a human cry, but like a wild, roaring lion. It was the plaintive shriek and the wail of unalterable woe as our sins were pressed down upon Him.


It is true that God did forsake His Son for those last three hours that He hung on the cross; but does He ever forsake His adopted children who come to Him by faith in His Son? Didn’t He say, “. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5); and then He said this in Psalm 23:4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” It is true that, in His wisdom and compassion God may not answer my prayer as I expect Him to; but I know Him too well as my God, the God who has covenanted with me, to ever doubt His faithfulness and loyalty to me.


3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.


“Thou art holy,” that is, just and true in all thy ways, and therefore hearing prayers, and keeping thy covenant; a true lover of holiness, and of all holy men.



4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.


The psalmist may have added this verse because his misery was aggravated by the thought that he was neglected and forsaken by God who had so often come to the aid of his ancestors.



5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.


In the absence of any response from God the sufferer is cast back upon his former beliefs, foremost among them being the concept of God as just and righteous. This belief is strengthened by the long precedent of Israel’s praises for deliverance in earlier years. God had not failed to help those who trusted him in previous generations. The past experience of God’s people is the ground for present trust.



6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.


“I am a worm, and no man” is a forgotten “I am” statement that speaks of how little value the leaders of Israel and the Roman officials placed on Jesus of Nazareth. A worm is a creature of the ground, helpless, frail, and unwanted. Isaiah 52:14{2] predicted that Messiah would be terribly disfigured by his enemies and not even look human


What does He mean when He says, “I am a worm?” He has roared like a lion; now He says, “I am a worm.” It is because He has reached the lowest place. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:3). “I am a worm.” The interesting thing is that the word used here for worm means the coccus worm, which was used by the Hebrews in dying all the curtains of the tabernacle scarlet red. When He said, “I am a worm,” He meant more than that He had reached the lowest level. It was He who had said, “. . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18). Only His blood, my friend, can rub out the dark deep spot in your life.


My friend, there is only one thing that will take the spot of sin out of your life, that is the blood of Christ. The blood of the Lord Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses from sin. Only His blood.





Will you look at that Man on the cross? His suffering is intensified by that brutal mob and hardened spectators that are beneath Him. Look through His eyes and see what He sees.



7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,


The Jews used the gesture of shaking (or “wagging”) their heads as they poked fun at Jesus on the cross—“And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads” (Matt. 27:39). Instead of pitying and helping him, they insulted and laughed at Him. “They shoot out the lip,” they open their mouths and stick out their tongue in mockery.



8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.


Some criminals have been so detested that they have been taken from jail and lynched by a mob. But while the criminal was being executed, the mob would disperse. Tempers were cooled, and emotions were eased. But not this crowd! I think the lowest thing that has ever been said about religion was said by these Pharisees when the Lord Jesus Christ was dying: “And sitting down they watched Him there” (Matt. 27:36). You have to be low to do that. In fact, you cannot get lower than that! The venom and vileness of the human heart were being poured out like an open sewer as they remained there and ridiculed Him as he died. After a snake has put its deadly venom in its victim and emitted its poison, it will slither away in the grass. But not this crowd—not the human heart in rebellion against God.


“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. . . ” (John 23:34). If He had not said that, this crowd would have committed the unpardonable sin. But they did not—He asked forgiveness for their sin. We know that the centurion in charge of the execution was saved; and a whole company of Pharisees, including Saul of Tarsus, who probably were in this crowd, were saved.






Now as he looks over the crowd He sees not only eyes of hate and antagonism, but He sees eyes of love. He sees his mother with John down there at the foot of the cross. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25). As Jesus looks at His mother, do you want to know what went on in His heart? He went back to Bethlehem at the time He was born, and He says to the Father:



9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.


The thought of dependence upon One who delighted in him reminds the psalmist of the time when, as a baby, he was dependent upon his mother. But the very fact of his birth is evidence of divine intervention in human life, and a habit of reliance upon God was implanted within him with his own life and his mother’s milk. David had learned to trust in the Lord (“hope”) from infancy, and was not going to relent now.



10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.


“. . . Woman behold thy Son!” (John 19:26). There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, she had asked Him to do something to show that He was the Messiah, that she was right when she said He was virgin born. She wanted Him to reveal Himself at this wedding. His answer to her at that time was, “. . . Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come” (John 2:4). But there hanging on the cross: “. . . Woman behold thy Son!” His hour has come! The reason for His coming into the world is now being accomplished. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT HOUR IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!


Then His attention moves back to those who are doing the crucifying.



11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.


Here we see the psalmist pleading with the Lord for the realization of God’s presence, that is, for God to be with him now as he had been in the past—in the years since his infancy—because there is no one to help him, and trouble is near (Job 3:24-26{15]). If God doesn’t speedily deliver him, it will be too late; which is an argument David often used. God’s help is absolutely necessary, and when he delivers me He will receive even more glory, since it will appear that it was His work only.



12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.


“Bashan” was a very fertile area east of the Sea of Galilee and north of the Yarmuk River to Mount Hermon, now known as the Golan Heights (Jer. 50:19{3])


An angry bull is a terrible adversary; he can charge with the momentum of a “freight train.” A Bashan bull (like a Jersey or an Aberdeen Angus) was the choicest and heaviest breed of the day.  The wild bulls encircled their prey then moved in for the kill. Describing these soldiers that were crucifying Him, He says they are like the bulls of Bashan; but He does not stop with that, for He is being devoured by wild animals—that is what His tormentors had become. The people involved in arresting and condemning Jesus were only beasts attacking their Creator (Ps. 2:1-3{4]).



13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.


His enemies, with the vigor of bulls and cruelty of lions surrounded Him, eagerly seeking His ruin. He is talking about Rome now—Rome crucified Him. He compares them to a roaring lion, for the lion was the representation of Rome.


Now notice His condition:



14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.


This accurate description of crucifixion is remarkable when you consider that crucifixion was unknown when this psalm was written. The Roman Empire was not even in existence, and it was Rome that instituted crucifixion. Yet here is a picture of a man dying by crucifixion!


“I am poured out like water”—the excessive perspiration of a dying man out in that sun.


“All my bones are out of joint”—the horrible thing about crucifixion is that when a man began to lose blood, His strength ebbed from him, and all his bones slipped out of joint. That is an awful thing. It was terrible, terrible suffering.


Then he says something that is indeed strange, “My heart is like wax.” He died of a broken heart. Many doctors have said that a ruptured heart would have produced what John meticulously recorded. “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34). Let me paraphrase that. “I saw that Roman soldier put that spear in His side and there came out blood and water—not just blood but blood and water.” Like ebbing water and melting wax, his strength fades away, and He becomes like a brittle piece of broken pottery. John took note of that and recorded it. Jesus died of a broken heart! David the prophetic psalmist (Acts 2:30{5]) saw what would happen to Messiah centuries later.







As He was hanging there ready to expire, with excessive perspiration pouring from Him, He suffers the agony of thirst.



15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.


Down below the cross, they hear Him say, “I thirst.” The “dust of death”—of course, denotes the grave.



16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.


Evil doers are appropriately described as “dogs,” which in the East, hunting in packs, wild and ravenous, are justly objects of great abhorrence.


“Dog” was the name for Gentiles. The piercing of His hands and feet is an accurate description of crucifixion.



17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.


In verses 8-18, we have one of the clearest glimpses granted us of the psalmist’s pitiable mental and physical condition. He has no heart to stand up against such hatred and hostility. The details of Calvary are clearly seen here; mockery (v. 8), shame (vs 13, 17), the pain of crucifixion (vs. 14-16), piercing of hands and feet (v. 16), the parting of garments (v. 18). His physical body was disintegrating. His mouth was parched and dry from fever. He is so emancipated that his ribs stick out. And his enemies gloat over his weakening physique. What is said of the psalmist can also be applied to Jesus’ crucifixion.


This accurate description of the crucifixion of Christ is made remarkable, since David had never seen or even heard of crucifixion. That horrible method of death would have to wait for the Roman Empire to come into being which was at this time many centuries in the future.



18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.


This verse is quoted in the New Testament: “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots” (Matt. 27:35).


He was naked when He was crucified. It is difficult for us in this day of nudity and pornography to comprehend the great humiliation He suffered. Those pictures we see with Him scantily clothed is meant to protect our delicate feelings. He suffered by hanging nude on the cross. They had taken His garments and gambled for ownership. My friend, He went through it all, crucified naked, so that you may be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and be able to stand before God throughout the endless ages of eternity.







19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.


David prayed that the Lord (His strength), would help him by saving his life from the power of his wicked enemies, who were like dogs (v. 20), lions (vs. 13, 21), and wild bulls (v. 12). Help must come quickly or David is lost.


20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.


The word “darling” is better translated “My only One”—“This is My only Son. . .” (Matt. 3:17). “Deliver My soul from the sword; My only One from the power of the dog.” Jesus is saying, “. . . Father, into thy hands I commend My Spirit. . .” (Luke 23:46).


The “sword” may refer to the authority of the Roman government (Rom. 13:4{6]), for it was Pilate who authorized Christ’s death.



21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.


One of the most remarkable statements is this: “thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.” To express intensity in the Hebrew, the plural is used—horns of the unicorns, but the thought is one horn.


For many years it was thought that the unicorn was a mythical animal, but recent investigation has revealed that it was an animal a size smaller than an elephant, very much like the rhinoceros, sometimes called a wild bull. Vicious and brutal, every one of them was a killer. And the thing that identified them was the fact that they had one horn. “Thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns”uni means “one”—one horn. To me, my beloved, that is remarkable indeed; because the cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified was probably not the shaped cross we see today. We think of a cross made of an upright and a crosspiece. Nowhere does Scripture describe it that way.


There are two Greek words translated by the English word cross. One of them is the word stauros. You find it used in several places. For instance: “. . . Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matt. 27:40). The word cross is stauros meaning “one piece.” It is interesting how accurate Scripture is, and how tradition has been woven into it in our thinking. Paul used the word stauros when he wrote: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Co. 1:18).


The second Greek word is xulon which is translated by the English “cross” or “tree.” It simply means a piece of wood. Paul also used this word when he wrote: “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher” (Acts 13:29).


They took Him down from the tree! Does he mean an upright with a cross piece? Now I am perfectly willing to go along with the popularly accepted shape of the cross, but for the sake of accuracy and to appreciate the exactness of this psalm, we need to brush aside tradition for a moment. Jesus said, “Thou has heard me from the horns of the unicorns [the cross].” “. . . Into thy hands I commend my Spirit. . .” (Luke 23:46).


Another thing that amazes me is that this word xulon, translated “tree” or “cross” is mentioned in the twenty-second chapter of Revelation as the tree of life! I believe that the tree on which Jesus died will be there, alive, throughout the endless ages of eternity, to let you and I know what it cost to redeem us.


There is a devastating sentence in Mathew’s Gospel, 26:56: “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” What Jesus had now to go through He would have to suffer alone. And so the heartbreaking distress of His cry as He quotes verse 1 of our psalm is all the more terrible.


The lion is often used as a figure representing violent enemies, and the lion’s mouth intimates their viciousness.


Now when we come to verse 22 of this psalm, we see a radical change, a reversal in circumstance and attitude. We have had the sufferings of Christ described for us; now we see the glory that should follow. We move from suffering to glory, from prayer to praise. This is the turning point of the psalm.



22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.


I think He said this entire psalm on the cross. He did not die defeated; for when He reached the very end He said, “This is the gospel that will be witnessed to. I will declare thy name unto My brethren.” And I see Peter in the midst of the Sanhedrin, composed of both Pharisees and Sadducees, saying to them, “. . . there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “I will declare thy name unto My brethren.”  We also find this verse quoted in Hebrews 2:12—“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”


In verse 2, he wrote that God had not answered, but now he almost shouts, “You have answered me!” (v. 24). He had prayed for delivery out of death (Heb. 5:7{7]), and that prayer was answered.



23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.


Verses 23-26 are a praise song. David has come to pay his vows (v. 25) with a peace offering and in a song of thanksgiving. His brethren (fellow Israelites) are there. Thus in anticipation of a favorable response by God he sings his thanksgiving song.



24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.


“He hath not despised:” He was despised by the people (v. 6), but not by God. He did not turn away His face from him, as men do from things they abhor, but looked upon him with compassion. “Neither hath he hid his face from him,” that is to say, he did for a time, but not forever; for now He has shown me the light of His countenance.



25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.


There is no Biblical evidence that Jesus appeared to any unbelievers in the days immediately following His resurrection (See 1 Co. 15:1-8). If “The great congregation” is an event it probably refers to one of the three great annual festivals when everyone who could attend, did so. There they offered praise to God. “But even praise itself is a gift from You; it is Your grace that has given me even the desire to praise You, and You are the source of the vows I am now prepared to pay up, before all those worshipers here.”


But who would be included in the great congregation? The great congregation (assembly) included those who believed in Jesus who became a part of His church when the Spirit came at Pentecost. But the church is made up of believing Jews and Gentiles whom form one body in Christ (Eph. 2:11{8]), so the song included the seed of Jacob (Israel). The first Christians were Jewish believers, and all Gentiles in the church are, by faith, the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:26-29{9]).God did not despise His Son in whom He is well pleased (v. 24), but accepted His work on the cross and proved it by raising Him from the dead (Rom. 4:24-25{10]).



26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.


The image here is that of a feast and was a familiar picture to the Jews of the anticipated Messianic kingdom (Isa. 25:6-9{11]). When a Jewish worshipper brought a peace offering to the Lord, he retained part of it to be used for a feast for himself, his family, and any of his friends he wanted to invite (Lev. 7:15{12]); and this tradition became a picture of the future glorious kingdom. But believing Gentiles will also be included in this feast (v. 27), and Messiah will reign over all the earth.


The thief on the cross said, “. . . Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Christ says, “I’ll pay My vows”—“. . . Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The redeemed shall be there to praise, and the thief also, because He was taking him with him that very day. Although he was a man unfit to even live down here, according to Rome’s standard, the Lord Jesus makes him fit for heaven by His death on the cross.



27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.


The psalmist’s song of thanksgiving has not exhausted his poetic rapture. Though he has not yet experienced deliverance that he confidently hoped for is so great a thing that it will awaken distant peoples, pagan nations, even the dead, yes, and those still unborn, who shall pass on to succeeding generations the story of what God has done for him.



28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.


The psalmist invites those present to remember that Yahweh is in fact Lord of all the earth, so that they would tell people everywhere to remember that fact. Nor should we forget that the nations at the end of the earth were all Gentiles, and not the chosen people of God.



29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.


Scholars have had to agree that there are at least two interpretations of this verse:

a.      Even all those who already sleep in the dust of death (that is, in the underworld, according to the thought of the day) will bow the knee to Him, though they have not been able to give themselves life.

b.      All those who do not believe except in their own powers, who are too proud to bend before God, even these shall be saved.


Both the prosperous and the poor will submit to Him and find their satisfaction in His grace alone. Orthodox Jews close their religious services by quoting Zechariah 14:9—“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”



30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.


The word “seed” means that David is speaking here of generations to come. The blessings of the atonement and the kingdom will not be temporary but perpetual, from one generation to another. Three generations are listed here: a seed (Isa. 53:10{13]), a second generation and a people that shall be born. This reminds us of 2 Tim. 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” But the emphasis isn’t on what God’s children has done, but on the fact that the Lord did it all: “he hath done this!” (v. 31). “IT IS FINISHED” is what Jesus cried from the cross (John 19:30).






There is a seventh word; it is the last.



31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.


“Unto a people that shall be born” includes you, my friend.


They shall declare His righteousness—not your righteousness, for God says it is filthy rags in His sight. How will they declare His righteousness? “That he hath done this.” Some would translate it, “It is finished,” the last word He spoke on the cross. And when He said it, it was only one word—“Tetelestai! Finished. Your redemption is a completed package, and He presents it to you wrapped up with everything in it. He doesn’t want you to being your do-it-yourself kit along. He does not need that. When He died on the cross, He provided a righteousness that would satisfy a holy God. All He asks of you is that you receive this passage, this gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus.


If you reject it, God must treat you as He treated His Son when He cried, “. . . My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34). I am not here to argue about the temperature of hell: it will be hell for any man forsaken by God. Jesus Christ went through it so that you might never have to utter that cry.


Psalm 22 reveals the heart of our Savior as He was made a sin offering in our behalf. He completed the transaction in triumph. He offers to us a finished redemption. We will never be worthy of it; we cannot earn it; we cannot buy it—we must receive it as a gift. Over two thousand years ago the Lord Jesus Christ did all that was needed to save us.


It is done. Tetelestai. FINISHED!



Scripture reference and special notes


{1] (Isa. 53:10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.


{2] (Isaiah 52:14) As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:


{3] (Jer. 50:19) And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.


{4] (Ps. 2:1-3) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.


{5] (Acts 2:30) Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;


{6] (Rom. 13:4) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.


{7] (Heb. 5:7) Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;


{8] (Eph. 2:11) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;


{9] (Gal. 3:26-29) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.


{10] (Rom. 4:24-25) But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.


{11] (Isa. 25:6-9) And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.


{12] (Lev. 7:15) And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.


{13] (Isa. 53:10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.


{14] (Mark 15:34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


{15] (Job 3:24-26) For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.