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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, April 11 2024

Psalm 22 - An awe inspiring prophecy

About 1,000 years before the life and death of Jesus Christ, King David, inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), wrote a remarkable psalm containing some of the clearest and most detailed prophecies about the death Jesus Christ was destined to endure for all humanity.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all describe aspects of the last day in the life of Jesus Christ in the flesh, which are a mirror image of Psalm 22. There are at least 12 details recorded in this psalm that match the Gospel accounts, a few of these being Christ’s pierced hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25-28), the words spoken by those who killed Him (Psalm 22:7-8; Luke 23:35) and even Jesus’ last words (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34).

The prophecies of Christ’s scourging, the tearing of His flesh, mocking, prolonged agony and slow death have all been clearly fulfilled. The beating He received from the soldiers and their gambling for His garment (it was customary for soldiers at an execution to divide the clothes of the prisoners among themselves), was all foretold by God centuries before Rome and this custom existed.

Jesus, as the Logos or Word who became flesh (John 1:14), was the One who inspired these words to be written about His sacrifice and death. He was the “Rock” that followed Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4), and He had inspired David to write about His crucifixion. No wonder He prayed in agony the night before these events took place (Matthew 26:36-42). He knew exactly what was about to happen. He had known how He would die since the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Psalm 22 describes the destiny of Christ as the “Passover Lamb” whose sacrifice pays for the sins of all who repent. This is why He was sent to the earth.

After His resurrection, Jesus expounded the prophecies that had just been fulfilled in front of the eyes of His disciples (Luke 24:27). Once they understood, they were so strongly convinced they changed from relatively weak and frightened men into powerful dynamos for God. The hope that was expressed through all that they had witnessed convinced them of the future fulfillment of God’s wonderful promises.

There is no figure of ancient history whose death is more clearly recorded than that of Jesus Christ. He died exactly as Psalm 22 stated He would. Prophecy was fulfilled down to the last detail. When we comprehend the absolute control and power God displayed by fulfilling Psalm 22 and many other prophecies, then we should also be convinced that every prophecy still to take place will come to pass exactly as God stated. Isaiah 45:21 and 46:9-11 boldly proclaim that only God can make a prophecy come to pass.

Many people have the image of Jesus Christ and God the Father as gentle, forgiving, ever patient and kind. We read the scriptures that tell of God’s great sacrifice and love for mankind, and we often do not comprehend the wrath God has exhibited against evil. God is an unstoppable warrior as well as a loving Father. He has controlled and fought against evil since the rebellion of Lucifer and his followers.

The book of Revelation contains strong statements about Christ coming with power and might (Revelation 19:11-21). He is King of Kings and “treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (verse 15). That statement ought to inspire us to pause and to consider that, since Psalm 22 is so explicit, could these future prophecies be any less explicit?

1 Corinthians 13:8 does tell us that sometimes prophecies fail, but they do not fail because God cannot fulfill them, but they fail because God and only God can change them. The book of Jonah is written to help us understand that truth. Prophecies are given with the hope that humans will stop and consider—and then repent. With repentance from mankind, many of these prophecies could be cancelled.

God does not rejoice in the suffering, punishment and death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23), but Jesus Christ will return as a conquering King to establish His government on earth, and the wicked will die (Romans 6:23) unless they repent and seek God. He will conquer and He will rule. He will overthrow all who oppose Him, and nothing can stop or deter Him.

A wise person will choose to stand with Christ and not against Him since He is the only hope for this deceived world (Revelation 12:9). Jesus said that if we knock, it will be opened, and if we seek, we will find (Matthew 7:7). God wants us to consider the prophecies He has inspired and choose life.