It is written:
“But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.” (Psalm 22:6)
By now, we have established that the King of Psalm 22 was none other then the Messiah, Whom David wrote of nearly a thousand years before He was born into the world. The evidences of the text (including the place of this Psalm in the Book of Psalms, along with its’ musical and compositional style when compared with the Psalms before and after it, directly relate it to the Messiah; the prophetic utterances of the Superscription of the text point to the fact that David is referring to another Person besides himself; and the worldwide conversion of the Gentiles and the fulfillment of the patriarchal promises of God through this King’s death and resurrection) show this to be the case.
Yet scattered throughout the text of Psalm 22 are other indicators that the Messiah is identifiable with Jesus of Nazareth. One example is in the specific word here used in Psalm 22:6, and translated as “worm.” The Hebrew word used here tells a very interesting story:
“These statements, however, hardly explain fully the identification of himself as a worm. The key seems to lie in the recognition that this was a specific type of worm the scarlet worm . As a matter of fact, the Hebrew word translated “worm” in this passage ( tolath ) is also frequently translated “scarlet” (e.g., Exod. 25:4) or “crimson” (Isa. 1:18). The reason for this odd equivalence is because the scarlet worm was the source of a fluid from which the people of ancient times made their scarlet dyes. Christ’s portrayal of himself as stained crimson on the cross thus immediately speaks to us in the words of Colossians 1:20. “Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself.” But no doubt the deeper significance of His identification of himself as the Scarlet Worm lies in the remarkable life- death cycle of this unique animal. For when the mother worm of this species is ready to give birth to her baby worms, she will implant her body in a tree somewhere, or a post or a stick of wood, so firmly that she can never leave again. Then, when the young are brought forth, the mother’s body provides protection and sustenance for her young until they reach the stage where they can leave home and fend for themselves. Then the mother dies. And as she dies, the scarlet fluid in her body emerges to stain her body and the bodies of her progeny and the wood of the tree where they were given life by their dying mother. What a picture of the blood- stained cross, and how “it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10). “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16:21).” (Henry Morris & Henry Morris III, Treasures In The Psalms, 723-731 (Kindle Edition); Greeen Forest, AR; Master Books)
Amazingly, on the third day after the “scarlet worm” dies, look at what happens:
“When her body is crushed, it produces medicine….After three days she bends into the shape of a heart and turns white. Then she turns white and becomes a waxy substance that can be scraped off the tree and used to seal things.” (Lori Pagel, The Crimson Worm Tells The Gospel Story, 71-80 (Kindle Edition); Bloomington, Indiana; WestBow Press)
In its’ death, the worm provides life and healing (culminating in the third day).
Look at how this all points to Jesus Christ, Whose death, burial, and resurrection provide life and healing for all who will come to Him (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 16:15-16).
There is one more interesting fact about this scarlet worm that bears mentioning. The Hebrew word used here is also found in another text of Scripture:
1 Chronicles 7:2-The sons of Tola were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house. The sons of Tola were mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was twenty-two thousand six hundred.
Speaking of this, one author has written:
“We can see another scripture with “Tola’at Shani” in it: 1st Chronicles, chapter seven, “The sons of Tola’at Shani were mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was twenty-two thousand six hundred”. In that scripture we saw the name David (The Psalmist), then we saw twenty-two (Psalm 22), we saw a thousand (Psalm 22 was written 1000 years Before Christ), then we saw six (Verse 6). We also saw the words, “The sons of Tola’at Shani”. That scripture was not numbered by mistake, nor was it written by chance. I believe God inspired it, to show a pattern to His people. The sons of Tola’at Shani, mighty men of valor, in the days of David the Psalmist, numbered twenty-two thousand six hundred. Wow! It is as if the Holy Spirit took a highlighter pen to mark on this scripture and to magnify its significance, “Look here in the Chronicles, then look at the Psalm, and look at history and see it for yourself.”” (George Crabb, Tola’at Shani: The Crimson Worm of Psalm 22, 41-43 (Kindle Edition))
The amazing text of Psalm 22 continues to point to the incredible Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.