The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Columns

March 9, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: The Suffering Savior

Psalm 22: 1, 13-18 (NIV): My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ... Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.  Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.  Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.  I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Jesus quotes the first line of this psalm from the cross. He was feeling the anguish of being separated from God. Jesus knew that God never leaves us or forsakes us, but, by taking on our sins, Jesus felt the agony of separation that sin brings. Jesus was also making sure we read Psalm 22 so we would see that it is an incredible prophecy that he was fulfilling.

David perfectly describes what a person who is crucified goes through. That might not be such a big deal if he had written this after Jesus was crucified, but he wrote it a thousand years before it happened, and 500 years before crucifixion was even invented! History says the Persians invented crucifixion around 500 B.C., and Alexander the Great borrowed it around 320 B.C. When Rome conquered Greece around 200 B.C., they started using it. There is no way David ever saw a person crucified. How did he write this?

The only explanation is that God revealed this to him. And it is so specific: He writes that his bones are out of joint, that evil men surround him, that they gambled for his clothing, that the people hurled insults at him and mocked him, that he was thirsty, and that they had pierced his hands and his feet.

 Reading this passage is a reminder that our faith is real. That the Bible is true. That we can put our trust in God. Our faith is more than wishful thinking or empty hope. It is solid. The evidence is irrefutable and this passage is just one example.

 

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