Reading: Psalm 22:22-26
I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever! (NIV)*
In this ongoing discussion of Psalm 22 we hit a critical turning point with yesterday’s scripture reading. The humiliated, pierced and tortured Christ prays, “But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen” (Psalm 22:19-21).
God the Father answered the prayer of his suffering Son, not immediately, but three days later Jesus arose from the dead. Now he reigns triumphant over death, hell and the grave. The opening words recorded here are the resurrected Christ’s song of triumph: I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
And why should we praise the LORD? Here is the answer: For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
In the context of this psalm, Christ is the afflict one. The prophet Isaiah declares, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Yes, praise Him! We have a Savior who can fully identify with every aspect of our humanity because he was fully human. He suffered just as we suffer and in his body he experience severe loss and pain. God incarnate knows all about the human condition because He lived as a human. But in all this Jesus is the victor. May your hearts live forever because of Jesus Christ who conquered death and lives now and forever.
Response: Father, thank you for victory over death, hell and the grave through your Son Jesus. By faith his victory becomes my victory. Hallelujah! I praise you my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Your Turn: Does the knowledge of Christ’s suffering help you in times of personal pain or loss?