I apologize that today’s passage is a bit longer than most of the ones we examine, but it’s really important to read this in its entirety.
How important is this Psalm? Well, considering that the first verse here was on Jesus’ lips as he died, I would think it’s pretty consequential. I remember a strong point made by Michael Card on his album The Way of Wisdom: If you want a thorough description of the Crucifixion, then you have to go to the Psalms, not the Gospels. The Gospel writers, for reasons we’ve discussed before, decided not to include a clear description of what Jesus physically endured during the actual crucifixion. If you read the Psalms, especially 22 and 69 (which we’ll examine tomorrow), then you can see some details which we can’t find elsewhere.
Remember, the first verse was quoted by Christ on the cross. Of course, I could be wrong, but I really believe that this Psalm describes what was actually going through our Lord’s mind as he was undergoing the “punishment that brought us peace.” For brevity’s sake I just want to point out a few things about what this Psalm predicts about him.
• Let’s list just a few of the physical details which were fulfilled to the letter, shall we? His bones were out of joint, and extreme thirst overcame him. His hands and feet were pierced, and his enemies gambled for his clothing. Sound familiar? When you consider that crucifixion was invented by the Romans, hundreds of years after this Psalm was written, it’s pretty amazing.
• Utter, complete abandonment and rejection by his own people. If you ever need more proof of the total depravity of sinful humanity, look at the Passion. He was scorned, despised, mocked, and insulted, which only added to his physical agony. What did they say about him? In short, that God had abandoned him.
• But in a sense his enemies were exactly right. Jesus was forsaken by the Father. Don’t expect me to explain this, but in some sense Jesus became sin for us on the cross. When he did this, all the Father’s wrath for our sin was placed upon him. They thought he was being punished for his own sins, but he was being punished for ours.
• But thank the Lord, the story doesn’t end there. The suffering of this innocent Servant was for a purpose. God would eventually vindicate him, and because of this the world would be turned upside down. Read vss. 27-31 and count how many times you see the word “all.” Because of what the Servant endured, “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.”
This is why he endured what he did. All the nations of the world will one day bow before him. I don’t think it’s only talking about his Return. I think it’s being fulfilled right now. The Good News of Christ is spreading to every corner of the globe, leading people to bow before him in trust, submission, and worship. So what part are you playing in this?
Lord Jesus, what part do you want me to play in all this? How can I participate in your redemption of the nations? What do you want ME to do?