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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Psalm 22: The Hope of Christ-The Prophetic Picture

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

Psalm 22, Theme Verses: 

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 
Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Verse 1) 

“I will declare thy name unto my brethren; 
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Verse 22) 

O Father, how awesome is your righteousness and your love. As a believer, I must humble myself, even to laying in the dust of repentance before you, and not just bow my knees before you. Here you reveal the true awfulness of sin. When your only begotten Son took my sin upon Himself, as my substitute, your holiness demanded his death! “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 3:23)

How else can it be? For You and Your righteous ways are life and life’s abundance. If I choose to live contrary to the ways you, as Creator, have designed for me, I oppose life. Why is it so hard for men to understand this? Even if their invented things are used contrary to their designed purposes, their purpose for existence ceases to exist. First, their performance does not meet the needs through disuse. Then, with its intended purpose lost, the invention is often destroyed by its misuse. The more complex and specialized the invention, the more this is happens. Destruction follows misuse being disharmony of design. As fantastic as space vehicles are, your design potential of each man far exceeds them in complexity. Even the greatest genius possesses all the building genes present at the moment of his or her conception. O Father, how great are your works and ways; they are far past finding out!

Your design for man at his creation was to walk in fellowship and holiness with you, but in our rebellion and turning away from you, we have become like the body of a severely injured athlete that no doctor could return to its original perfection. However, You, Father, through the Person and sacrificial death of Your Son Jesus Christ, can restore the sinner through the birthing of His life into the believing sinner (John 1:12, 13; 2 Cor. 5:15-21; John 3:1-7). This mighty redemptive work of your infinite love recreates us into a greater state than man’s original, unspoiled creation…we become your children and you become “Abba,” our Father.

Oh, how great you are! Expand my mind and my spirit that I may be more able to understand the pain and darkness that Jesus experienced when He cried out the beginning of this Psalm on the cross dying for sinful mankind! I cannot fully take it in (1 Cor. 2:9; Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21). Throughout eternity, believers will be just soaking these divine truths into their finite minds! Only then, a measure of true spirituality will be their eternal experience (2 Cor. 3:17, 18).

Yet, let me also rejoice in Christ’s final words on the cross---the last verse of this psalm. Even in his excruciating circumstance, Jesus could see the joy before Him. All your angels worship Him (Hebrews 1:6) because you would and have given him “The Name, which is above every name…” Even before the final judgment, every knee will bow before Him. Indeed, I bow with many other forgiven and redeemed sinners, before my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and I choose to continually worship Him as Lord. All this because of his sufferings for the world, including me, as pictured in this song.

I have bowed before my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and continually worship him, because his sufferings for the world of humanity and me are pictured in this Psalm. O Lord Jesus, as this Psalm speaks of your suffering onmy behalf, I am ashamed of my groaning, because of my “light afflictions.” Help me to remember this when I am called upon by our Father to suffer in your program of redemption. I am being privileged to know you in the “fellowship” of your sufferings. This is especially so, when I am rejected and persecuted because I speak your Word, even when done in love and humility.

I worship You, Father, for in the Lord Jesus through His example on the Cross and prophetically in this Psalm, that even in His sufferings, you gave me an example of joy and confidence beyond the suffering experience. What comfort in disappointments because Father, you are the God of resurrection. I thank you for Lord Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; they give me certain hope of a personal bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12-23; 1 Thes. 4:4; 13-18; Job 19:23-27). Therefore, I worship you and honor the Lord Jesus even as I do You, O Father (John 5:23; 14:7-11).

Bless the LORD, O my soul, 
And all that is within me, 
Bless His Holy Name, 
And forget not all His benefits! 
And through You, Lord Jesus, 
I worship You, Father.

Thanks be unto You, Father, 
for Your unspeakable gift.

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