The Messianic King Of Psalm 22 (Seven)

It is written:

“For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet.” (Psalm 22:16)

The scourging was a terrible trial that the Savior endured. Yet it was the crucifixion that was far worse by comparison.

In crucifixion, there is an instrument known as a cross. It is composed of two different pieces: a vertical beam, and a horizontal beam.

“CROSSBAR (patibulum, Latin; gibbet, Old English). Wooden beam that forms the top of a T-shaped cross used to crucify people. A Roman linguist named Nonius Marcellus (AD 300s) described it as the long, thick board that people used in ancient times to “bar the door shut.” Executioners sometimes forced the condemned folks to carry it to the execution site. Ancient pictures and written descriptions suggest that during crucifixion, some executioners nailed or tied the arms of the victim to this beam and set the beam on top of a vertical stake. When Bible writers had to describe what most Bible experts seem to think was the crossbar that Jesus carried to his execution, they had to translate into Greek the word Romans used to describe the beam. The Roman word, written in their language of Latin, is patibulum. But for Greek, the international language of the day, Bible writers chose stauros, which people often used to describe a vertical pole or sometimes the entire cross. Bible writers wouldn’t have been the only ones who used the word to describe the crossbeam. So did Roman writers such as Macrobius (AD 370–430). He said the patibulum, or crossbar, was Latin for the Greek word stauros (Macrobius 1.10, AD 395). In time, both words came to mean the entire cross. When Matthew reports that the Romans drafted Simon from Cyrene to haul a piece of execution timber for Jesus, Matthew called it a stauros, presumably referring to at least part of a cross.” (Stephen M. Miller, Eyewitness to Crucifixion: The Romans, the Cross and the Sacrifice of Jesus, 257-270 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, MI; Our Daily Bread Publishing)

When brought to the place of execution, large nails would be driven through the ”hands.”

While many people believe that the nails were driven straight through the palms of the hands, the evidence from the original language of the Scriptures (as well as testimony from the archaeological and medical sciences) tell a different story:

“The Roman execution squads actually pierced the wrists—not the palms. [35][ 36][ 37][ 38][ 39][ 40][ 41][ 42][ 43] Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a modern forensic pathologist, claimed the most likely site of the spikes’ placements was the position he named the Z area. When one touches his thumb to his little finger, the thenar furrow develops. Zugibe theorized the Romans nailed the condemned to his cross by driving the pile through this spot. He formulated his postulation by examining the Shroud of Turin, by examining victims of violent crimes using forensic science, and by his own experimentation. The pathologist claimed the palm could serve as the entry point of the stake if placed at just the right angle to enable it to exit through the wrist abutting the wood of the cross.[ 44] In either case, the nail passed through the wrist to secure the crucified to his cross. Anatomists have always considered the wrist to be part of the hand. Just as modern medicine has held to this tenet, Roman and Greek scientists also regarded the wrist to be part of the hand.[ 45] In this light, Plautus referred to crucifixion by nailing the arms—not the palms.[ 46] Would such a placement then violate Scripture? The biblical words for hand (Hebrew: yad; Greek: cheir) included the wrist and the forearm as integral parts.[ 47] As a matter of fact, the Hebrew language had a different word for the palm of the hand (kaph).[ 48][ 49][ 50] When David prophesied about the pierced hands of Suffering Messiah, he used yad—not kaph.[ 51] The New Testament confirmed this assertion as well. Thomas uttered his disbelief in Jesus’ resurrection until he saw the imprint of the nails in His hands (cheir).[ 52] Eight days later, Jesus exhorted Thomas to place his finger into the scars of His hands (cheir).[ 53] Cheir included the fingers, the palms, the wrists, and the forearms as part of the hands. The only New Testament designation of the palm (rhaphizo) in relation to Christ was when the abusers slapped Him.[ 54][ 55] Thus, Scripture never pointed to pierced palms per se.” (J. Shan Young, Crushed: A Physician Analyzes the Agony of Jesus, 3436-3642 (Kindle Edition); Glass Road Media)

We see an example of how the Bible “hand” includes the wrist in numerous passages, including here in Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 23:42 (KJV)-And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands (wrists, NKJV), and beautiful crowns upon their heads.

Once their “hands” were nailed to the crossbeam, the condemned were hoisted up to the vertical beam, where their feet were then likewise nailed to the cross. Many believe that Jesus’ cross extended beyond His head, since there was a sign affixed to it:

“The immissa or capitata, as indicated above, is the one that most artists believe was used to crucify Jesus, probably because of Luke’s account that the inscription on the titulus was “over Him,” therefore requiring an extension above His head. The scriptures relate that the Titulus Crucis or title (placard) was placed on the cross and depicted the nature of His crime: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (Mark 15: 26 and John 19: 19).” (Frederick T. Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus, Completely Revised and Expanded: A Forensic Inquiry, 35 (Kindle Edition); New York, NY; M. Evans and Company, Inc.).

Even that sign-meant to be a mark of derision towards Jesus-bore remarkable testimony to His identify as the Messiah of God.

“This titlos was an official title or notice for all to read. Matthew 27: 37 tells us that it was placed over Jesus’ head. We notice that throughout the trials, Pilate focused on Jesus’ position as the Christ, the King. Here, he makes it official by a placard hung over Jesus’ head, and he wrote it in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire, and Greek was the international language of the world at that time. What he wrote in Hebrew, however, is amazing. We miss it, because most of us don’t read Hebrew, but Pilate’s wording shocks the Jews who read it. The chief priests tell Pilate to change the title, but Pilate refuses. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. John 19: 21-22 “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” When we write that out in Hebrew, the first letter of each of those four words spell YHWH—Yahweh, the ineffable name of God. Yeshua HaNazarei v’Melech HaYehudim in English is “Jesus the Nazarene and King of the Jews.”” (Chuck Missler & Dr. Mark Eastman, The Agony of Love: Six Hours in Eternity, 808-819 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)

In His time on the Cross, the Messiah King experienced anguish that we cannot even begin to fathom-yet which the wording of Psalm 22 powerfully prophesies.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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