Psalm 22: 8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
David writes this psalm almost as though
it were planned to be part of the Passion of Christ.
It is as though David knew what was coming
when Christ was crucified.
Its theme is that the sufferings
of the righteous man
will restore life to humanity.
The Psalm also becomes the prayer of Christ
at the time of his crucifixion
and speaks of the suffering that our Savior
experienced on our behalf.
People are the same today
as they were back then,
when Jesus was being led to the cross.
We scoff at him; we mock him;
we wag our heads; and hurl insults at him.
Because he becomes contemptible in our eyes.
He reminds us that we are a sinful people;
he convicts us; he catches us in the lie;
he embarrasses us; he exposes us;
he accuses us of being hypocrites.
He holds us to a higher standard;
he speaks directly to God;
he claims to be God's Son;
and we reject him for this; and mock him.
We do not move to assist him;
let God rescue him –
“He relied on the Lord – let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
These are the same words used by those
who conspired against Jesus
when he was dying on the cross.
They did not realize that the suffering and death
of an innocent servant
would restore life for sinful man.
The words they spoke
were to be fulfilled,
not by Jesus coming down from the cross,
but by sinful humanity like us
being delivered, forgiven, and lifted up.
The psalm describes the Passion of Christ,
and we know that what seemed like
a moment of weakness for Christ
became a source of strength
for the rest of us.
God reverses this righteous man’s condition –
“But you, O Lord, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.”
Hope returns, the righteous man is delivered,
And he celebrates his deliverance--
“I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him ....”
Because Jesus humbled himself
and accepted death on the cross,
“God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him
the name that is above every name.”
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. The psalmist speaks of those who scoff at him and mock him.
In what way can you identify with those who scoff at our Savior
and mock him with parted lips?
2. The Response is, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned
Why do you think our Lord would have uttered these words
at the time of his Passion? What had changed for God's son?
Had God changed?