Reading: Psalm 22:9-15
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear 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 within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death (NIV).*
As we continue this meditation on Psalm 22, it is essential we bear in mind that prophetically this is the crucifixion psalm. As stated in my previous post, the crucifixion is portrayed from the victim’s point of view—Jesus’ point of view. Through the poetic medium of this psalm, Jesus is speaking. He is describing his thoughts amid the horror of his excruciating affliction.
I recently read an account of the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942. In one scene from the carnage on the Normandy beach, a horribly-mangled, mortally-wounded young man is trapped in coils of razor wire. With his last desperate breaths what does he do? He cries out for his mother. In the pain of death the thoughts of grown men often turn to the soothing remembrance of their mother’s love. For our Savior it was no different. But from birth Jesus put his trust in God. Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
As Jesus hangs pinned to the cross, he is encircled by his accusers—strong bulls of Bashan—who hurl insults at him. Peering down at his mangled and bleeding body he laments, I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
As the heat of the day builds, the trickle of blood continues and severe dehydration sets in. He cries out, “I thirst!” (John 19:28). This is our Savior’s confession—his stark reality—a reality he endured for our redemption. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
Response: Father God, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this cruel world to suffer on my behalf. Your unconditional love for me was demonstrated on the cross for all to see. I thank you. Amen.
Your Turn: What does Jesus suffering mean for you? Why might it be helpful to reflect on his suffering?