Psalm 22:1-18

May 26, 2023    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“For dogs have surrounded Me. The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:16–18, NKJV)


As we come to this psalm we are standing on holy ground. It is the ground of Golgotha, Calvary, the place of the skull. This psalm, more than any other, describes the sufferings of Christ that bring us salvation. I cannot read these words without realizing that they should have applied to me. They would have applied to me if Jesus had not become my Substitute. He suffered the just penalty for my sins in my place.


Try to picture the day David brought this song to the chief musician and told him to sing it to the tune of “The Deer of the Dawn.” I imagine that this music was in a minor key, for the lyrics were deeply somber. It was then sung at the tabernacle as a worship song, but none of these things had yet occurred. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, David wrote about the passion of Christ, but who could understand? Crucifixion hadn’t even been invented yet. It did, however, build anticipation for Someone who would suffer greatly before the LORD. Or did they think it was merely hyperbole for something David had suffered at the hands of his enemies?


We, however, know exactly what David was talking about. Christ quoted the opening line from the cross:


“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1a, NKJV)


As you read the first half of Psalm 22, let it develop in you a deeply reverent attitude. We must never take for granted what Christ did for us to redeem us from sin and death. Anytime we sing about the cross we should realize that we are standing on holy ground. It should bring tears to our eyes and a profound sense of gratitude. It saddens me when I see people talking during a worship service or coming in late because their conversation in the foyer was more important than bowing their heart before the One who saved them. May God help us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. He is worthy.