***Because Psalms 22:1 is quoted by Jesus and is often thought to be Jesus literally being forsaken by God, we are going to study this chapter in more detail. This is certainly a course containing meat, so do not feel overwhelmed. We shall see simplicity, though we will be challenged too. This context is certainly unclear and some of it does apply to Jesus. Remember, this was a mystery and was not necessarily meant to be understood at the time it was written (I Peter 1:10-12). We now have a benefit in having the mystery unveiled (Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-10 and Colossians 1:26-27).***
1. Where, in the Scriptures, does Jesus quote Psalms 22:1?
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. Some things in this chapter apply to Jesus as prophesies therefore we can know Jesus was trying to draw the minds of the Jews present to those Scriptures.
2. What was happening to Jesus when He quoted Psalms 22:1?
He was doing the Father’s will (John 5:20-21; cf. Matthew 26:39) in dying on the cross for the remission of our sins (Matthew 27:33ff.).
3. What causes man to be separated from God, so that God will not hear man?
Sin separates man from God so that God does not hear man: Deuteronomy 31:16-18, Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:1-3, Jeremiah 5:25, Ezekiel 39:23-24, Micah 3:4, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12.
4. Did Jesus ever sin to be forsaken by God?
No: Hebrews 4:14-16 and I Peter 2:21-22; cf. I Peter 1:18-19. According to Psalms 24:3-5 Jesus has nothing to fear!
5. Did Jesus ever fear being forsaken by God?
No, Jesus KNEW He would never be forsaken by God His Father. Notice the evidence that Jesus was not ever abandoned by His Father: “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man [certainly referring to His death – John 3:14 and John 12:32-34], then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him… Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 8:28-29 and John 16:32).
God the Father and God the Son are one (John 10:30). As we too are promised, Jesus knew that doing the Father’s will kept the unity of He and His Father (II John 9). Jesus would not have been asking God why He was forsaken if God had intended to do so from Psalms 22:1 forward. Jesus certainly knew the word. Jesus is the word (John 1:1-5; 14). What happened on the cross was not a question to Jesus. In fact, He showed everyone that He knew what was going to occur on the horrible, yet glorious day (Mark 10:33).
6. Do the righteous need to fear being forsaken by God?
No: I Samuel 22:2, Psalms 37:25, Psalms 94:14, Romans 8:28, and Hebrews 13:5-6.
7. In the book of Psalms, do we find a Psalmist fearing being forsaken by God?
Yes: “Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me” (Psalms 38:21).
“O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help” (Psalms 71:12).
Of course, Psalms 22:1ff. also applies.
Jesus did not fear this… see question 5!
8. Does Psalms 22:2 point to one single occurrence or multiple times when God did not hear the author of this text?
Night and day: “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent” (Psalms 22:2). Again, if Jesus was only forsaken once (which he was not), then this shows these two verses do not apply to Jesus. Jesus prayed the night before and was heard by the Father (Luke 22:39-43).
What’s really nuts is, Psalms 21 and Psalms 23 shows confidence in God that these two verses do not show.
9. Does the Psalmist see that God has been with those who trusted Him in times past?
“(3) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (4) Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. (5) They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded” (Psalms 22:3-5).
10. Whether it is the Psalmist, Jesus, or a reference to both; how is the one discussed in verses 6-8 looked upon by man?
“(6) But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (7) All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, (8) He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him” (Psalms 22:6-8).
This could apply to Jesus, for He was reproached (Romans 15:3).
This could apply to Jesus, for He was despised (Hebrews 12:2).
This could apply to Jesus, for He was laughed at (Luke 8:53).
This could apply to Jesus, for He was mocked [shot out from their lips] (Luke 18:32).
This could apply to Jesus, for they shook their heads and mocked His trust in God (Matthew 27:39-43).
11. Who does the Psalmist credit for his birth?
“(9) But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. (10) I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly” (Psalms 22:9-10).
12. What did the Psalmist ask as the bulls from Bashan surrounded him?
“(11) Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. (12) Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round” (Psalms 22:11-12).
13. How strong is the Psalmist as they gape upon him with their mouths?
“(13) They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death” (Psalms 22:13-15).
14. Can you apply Psalms 22:16 to Jesus?
Yes: John 20:24-29
15. Can you apply Psalms 22:17-18 to Jesus?
Yes, it can be applied to Christ (John 19:24).
16. Does Psalms 22:19-21 apply to Jesus?
No: Matthew 26:47-56.
17. Does Psalms 22:22 apply to Jesus?
Yes: Hebrews 2:9-14.
18. As Psalms 22 concludes, has the tone changed from verses 1-2?
“(23) Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. (24) For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. (25) My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. (26) The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (27) All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. (28) For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations. (29) All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. (30) A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. (31) They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this” (Psalms 22:23-31).