It is written:
“Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me.” (Psalm 22:21)
The 22 Psalm is not simply a prophecy about the suffering and death of the Messiah. It is a text which speaks of His difficulties, and His doubts. It eloquently speaks of despair and terrible torment.
Yet is is also a powerful testament of triumphant faith-trust in the Living God even when all is dark and dreary. Even though God had brought the Psalmist down to the dust of death (Psalm 22:15), w read a powerful declaration of victory.
Even in His death, the Messiah knew that He would be victorious. He knew that even in the midst of defeat, “You (God) have answered Me.”
We see some very astonishing proofs of this here in our text.
First, the Messiah acknowledges that God would answer Him (Psalm 22:21).
Second, He remembers that God can be faithful and that He has cared for Him throughout His life, beginning in the womb (Psalm 22:9-10).
Third, even in the midst of doubt, the King remembers that He would be able to sing praise to God in the midst of His brethren (Psalm 22:22).
We see evidence of this hope that Jesus had in His death from the Gospel of John.
John 19:30-So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Carefully studying this passage, Barclay has written:
“‘It is finished’ is one word in Greek–tetelestai–and Jesus died with a shout of triumph on his lips. He did not say ‘It is finished’ in weary defeat; he said it as one who shouts for joy because the victory is won. He seemed to be broken on the cross, but he knew that his victory was won. The last sentence of this passage makes the point even clearer. John says that Jesus leaned back his head and gave up his spirit. John uses the word which might be used for settling back upon a pillow. For Jesus, the strife was over and the battle was won; and even on the cross, he knew the joy of victory and the rest of the man who has completed his task and can lean back, content and at peace.” (William Barclay, The Gospel of John, Volume Two (The New Daily Study Bible), 301 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England; Saint Andrew Press)
The last words of Jesus, “It is finished,” were a cry of praise and relief.
He had accomplished the work that God had set before Him!
He had been faithful in accomplishing His task as the Messiah!
The Psalmist teaches us about this work that the King accomplished, and about the crowning event that gave Him hope in the midst of His anguish.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.