Christ remembers God’s faithfulness to him at birth and throughout his life.
Christ’s Submission To God
But you are the one who took me from the womb, you made me trust when I was on my mother’s breasts. Since my birth I’ve been thrown on you; you are my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalm 22:9-10 CJB)
But now the Son of Man turns away from man to God and remembers Bethlehem.
- It was God who had brought Him forth from the virgin’s womb.
- It was God who had preserved Him during the fragile days of His infancy.
- It was God who had sustained Him in His boyhood and young manhood.
From this past relationship of love, Christ now appeals to God to draw near in this hour of his crushing, solitary trial.
God’s loving concern does not begin on the day we are born and conclude on the day we die. It reaches back to those days before we were born and reached ahead along the unending path of eternity. Our only sure help comes from a God whose concern for us reaches beyond our earthly existence. How can anyone reject such love?
Christ’s Suffering From God
The anguish and misery placed on the Lord Jesus when he was on the cross attest to the depraved condition of the human heart and the attitudes of men toward God and his Christ.
Don’t stay far from me, for trouble is near; and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; wild bulls of Bashan close in on me. They open their mouths wide against me, like ravening, roaring lions. (Psalm 22:11-13 CJB)
The suffering Son asked God to bridge the distance between them: Don’t stay far from me, for trouble is near. Furthermore, Jesus pleaded, there is no one to help because his disciples and friends had deserted him.
Many of the hate-filled crowd at Calvary were Israelites. Christ likens them here to wild bulls of Bashan and ravening, roaring lions. The district of Bashan, east of the Jordan, was known for its rich pastureland and its strong, well-fattened animals. Amos later referred to the luxury-loving Israelites as cows of Bashan (Amos 4:1).
When Christ speaks here of wild bulls of Bashan, He is referring to His fellow countrymen, who were even then waiting to close in for the kill. They were not only like goring bulls but also like ravening and roaring lions. The Messiah of Israel had come, and they were pouncing on Him like lions on a lamb!
I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart has become like wax — it melts inside me; my mouth is as dry as a fragment of a pot, my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me down in the dust of death. (Psalm 22:14-15 CJB)
Christ’s physical suffering was excruciating beyond description.
- There was His exhaustion; He was poured out like water.
- There was the agony of bone dislocation by hanging on the cross; all His bones were out of joint.
- There was a violent disorder of His internal organs; His heart, for instance, has become like wax – it melts inside me.
This failing strength, mingled with the blistering heat, produced an extreme thirst for water. And this is indicated by the phrase my tongue sticks to my palate. The Lord Jesus Christ, the very one who created the rivers and lakes and who freely gives the water of life, thirsted on the cross (John 19:28).
Even though evil men threatened, he realized that God is sovereign and the one who would lay him down in the dust of death according to his eternal plan.
Dogs are all around me, a pack of villains closes in on me like a lion [at] my hands and feet. I can count every one of my bones, while they gaze at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves; for my clothing they throw dice. (Psalm 22:16-18 CJB)
These evil men who crucified Christ were like wild dogs closing in on him like a lion at his hands and feet. Also, this is a prophetic reference to the wounds Jesus suffered in his crucifixion (Psalm 109:25; Zechariah 12:10; Rev. 1:7).
Although the original text is unclear, “like a lion, my hands my feet,” this is a reference to the mauling he suffered or to the binding of his hands and feet.
While on the cross, he thought, I can count every one of my bones because he could feel the pain of each one.
He was aware that people stared and gloated over him. Here are the shame and indignity Christ felt because of his nakedness before the crowd, his mother, and the other women.
When I read Psalm 22 and meditate on this, it makes me sick to my stomach on how cruel people can be. The other thing I think about is the love of our heavenly Father who went to great lengths to save us from the enemy and as a parent how hard that must have been for God to watch his only son suffer such a cruel death.