My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Psalm 22 describes a time of intense suffering in the life of David. He is on the run. Perhaps Saul is pursuing him. David is desperate and he cries out to God.
Little did David know that the Holy Spirit put these words on the tongue of David to describe the crucifixion of God’s own Son a thousand years in the future. What’s more remarkable is that David describes crucifixion, which he had never seen, which had not even been invented as a form of execution. Notice David’s language for his own suffering and then how it is vividly echoed in the Gospels to describe the crucifixion of Jesus.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus would utter these same words from the cross. When he took our sin, he was separated from the Father, for the first time in all eternity. Their perfect oneness and community was shattered, and it was incredibly painful for Jesus.
All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads (22:7). Matthew 27:39 describes Jesus: And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads.
He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him (22:8). In Matthew 27:43 we read: He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, “I am the Son of God.”
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint (22:14). This describes the physical collapse of Jesus’ body on a cross.
They have pierced my hands and feet (22:16). For David this was figurative language for attack. For Jesus, this was literally true on the cross.
They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots (22:18). This was fulfilled exactly at the cross.
Psalm 22 is the Psalm of the cross, figuratively true of David and literally true of the Son of David. It was true of David in a limited sense, but true of the Son of David in an ultimate sense.
What a remarkable portrait of Christ’s suffering on the cross, given a thousand years before Christ even came, given before crucifixion was even used. God is the Sovereign God and he is working his plan, a plan that culminates with a Savior dying for sinners.