The Messianic King Of Psalm 22 (Fourteen)

It is written:

“You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! 24  For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard.” (Psalm 22:23-24).


“All the prosperous of the earth Shall eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust Shall bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep himself alive. 30  A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, 31  They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, That He has done this.” (Psalm 22:29-31).

So far, we have seen from Psalm 22 that the Messiah would be a Man Who would suffer terribly. However, through His death, He would accomplish the mission that God had sent Him into the world to fulfill. This Messiah would be fully human, even having a mother who cared for Him and provided for Him (Psalm 22:9-10). He would bring out God’s plan of redemption by which humanity from every nation of man would be able to be saved (Psalm 22:27). By His death and resurrection, He would be able to sing praises to God in the assembly of His brethren (Psalm 22:22).

Now, we will learn from this powerful Psalm that the Messiah is not only fully human-He is fully God.

How we do know this?

Please consider that in the passages referenced above, the people of the world are redeemed by the Messiah’s death and they offer praise to the Messiah-worship which belongs only to God! Carefully notice the antecedents of Psalm 22:23-24 and 29-31: the praise and worship which is to be given to God is given to the Messiah who has been brought to the dust of the earth (Psalm 22:15), even the Messiah Who could not keep Himself alive (Psalm 22:29).

Speaking of this, Cole has written:

“Note how in vv. 23-24 the third person references to the Lord are continued in v. 24, but obviously the referent is the persecuted king. Likewise, the descendants will serve “Him” in v. 30a, whose antecedent is the deceased one of v. 29c. This deceased king will receive the worship of the nations and ends of the earth, as well as all the deceased in general and generations yet unborn (vv. 27-31). Equation of the messianic king with the deity has already been made in Pss 1–2,36 and a comparison of his description in Pss 21 and 24 confirm the same.” (Robert L. Cole, “Psalm 22: The Suffering Of The Messianic King,” in Michael Rydelnik & Edwin Blum, The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament, 537 (Kindle Edition); Chicago; Moody Publishers)

Going into more detail, consider the testimony of the other Psalms (recounting that the Messiah is the One being described in Psalm 22, 23, and 24, as proven in former studies):

“Those enemies of Ps 22 who put him to death are now forced to watch as he celebrates his resurrection and triumph. It is of note that the resurrected king of Ps 23, who is equated by implication with the warrior king of Ps 24, is none other than the divine Lord. Two verses in Ps 24 (verses 8, 10) ask about the identity of the triumphant entering king of glory. Two answers are given–“ The Lord strong and powerful… powerful in battle,” and “The Lord of armies.” The introductory Pss 1 and 2 had already attributed divine qualities to him. Psalm 1 implied his divinity in verse two and also his perfection and absolute military success in verse three. His divinity is declared much more explicitly within Ps 2 itself and when read in light of Ps 1.[ 17] Thus the implied divinity here in Pss 22-24 of the messianic king is not unique, nor innovative. The Psalms’ author has attributed divine characteristics to him since the beginning of the book.” (Robert Cole, Why Psalm 23 Is Not About You, 138-144 (Kindle Edition))

This attribution of Deity to the Messiah is found throughout the Psalms-indeed, there are subtle hints of the entire Godhead throughout the entire Old Testament!

For example:

Psalm 33:6-By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

The word “word” (Greek, logos) is a personal Name for Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5, 14). The phrase “breath” is also the Hebrew word for “spirit.” So, what do we have? The Lord, the Word, and the Spirit.

Simply stated, the Trinity.


Psalm 45:6-7-6    Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.7    You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

This passage is quoted in Hebrews (1:8) as an evidence of the Godhood of Christ. Notice that this “King” is referred to as “God,” and is then said to be blessed by “Your God.” The object of this Psalm is the expected Messianic King. The Old Testament prophecies made it clear that the Messiah would be a great Ruler, with worldwide authority (cf. Isaiah 9:6-7; Genesis 49:10).

As Brown has pointed out:

“…While it is stretching the limits of the Hebrew language to refer to any human king in such lofty terms, it is altogether fitting to speak of Yeshua in such terms, since he is the Word made flesh, the Son of God clothed in earthly, human garments. Thus, this psalm can only be rightly understood when it is interpreted in terms of the Messiah…In keeping with this, Risto Santala, a Finnish Christian scholar of Hebrew and Rabbinic literature, points out that the rabbis commonly interpret royal psalms with reference to the Messiah, noting, ‘The Jews see the Messiah in the Psalms in more or less the same contexts as do the Christians. But since they communicate in the Psalms’ own language they find there secret references which they can then apply to their own conception of the Messiah.’…The Targum renders this passage as, ‘Your throne of honor, Yahweh (abbreviated in the Targum), is forever and ever,’ reminding us that the meaning of the original text is clear and straightforward…And what is the primary difficulty? It is impossible for these commentators to conceive that the human king could be called elohim. But if that human king is the Messiah, and if the Messiah is divine, then there is no valid reason to reject the obvious, clear rendering. We can therefore repeat without hesitation what we stated at the outset: Psalm 45 proclaims the divine nature of the Messianic King, and we do best to take the Scriptures in their most obvious, basic sense, allowing the Bible to dictate our theology, rather than imposing our theology on the Word of God.” (Michael L. Brown, Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus: Volume Three-Messianic Prophecy Objections, 131-133 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

Finally, consider this stunning text from the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 48:16-“Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.”

Unpacking this verse, the renowned scholar Archer Gleason informs us:

“Isaiah 48:16 sets forth all three Persons in the work of redemptive revelation and action…Here we have the God-man Redeemer speaking (the one who has just described Himself in v. 12 as ‘the First and the Last,’ and in v. 13 as the one who ‘founded the earth and spread out the heavens.’ He now says here in v. 16 that He has been sent by The Lord Yahweh (which in this case must refer to God the Father) and also by His Spirit (the Third Person of the Trinity). Conceivably ‘and His Spirit’ could be linked up with ‘Me’ as the object of ‘has sent,’ but in the context of the Hebrew original here it gives the impression that His ruCah (‘Spirit’) is linked up with ‘adonay YHWH (‘Lord Yahweh’) as an added subject rather than an added object. At any rate, the Third Person is distinguished from either First or the Second, so far as these verses are concerned.” (Gleason L. Archer, New International Encyclopedia Of Bible Difficulties: Informed Answers To Your Most Troublesome Questions, 9462-9472 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

The Messianic King of Psalm 22 is God. Notice, He is shown to be different from God the Father (and God the Spirit in other passages); but in His Nature, He is God.

1 John 5:7-For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Through His death on the cross of Calvary, the Messiah brought the prophesied plan of God to fruition. By means of His suffering and His death, the Messiah became the perfect High Priest between God and man (Hebrews 7:25). There is a lesson and a reminder here for us: when we go through difficult and trying times, God will work through our adversities to bring good (Romans 8:28). This is reason for us to rejoice, even in our trials!

Yet according to Psalm 22, there is another cause why the Messiah could rejoice, even in His death.

He knew that He would rise again!

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: