(This meditation was prepared for a participatory assembly where people from the congregation shared their insights from the Psalms.)
This morning we’ve talked about several of the themes which are found in the Psalms. There’s the theme of God’s glory. There’s the theme of God’s care and protection. We’ve shared some of the lessons we’ve learned. But there’s another aspect to the Psalms as well. They point to the coming of Christ. For example Psalm 2 looks forward to Jesus as the Son, as conquering King and Judge. Psalm 23, pictures Jesus as our Shepherd.
But perhaps the most remarkable prophecies about Christ are found in Psalm 22. This Psalm predicts His death. Let’s take a look at it.
[Read Psalm 22]
Jesus quoted from verse 1, while He was on the cross.
Verses 7 and 8 tell how the crowds mocked Jesus as He was dying.
Verse 15 predicts Jesus’ thirst.
Verse 16 describes crucifixion, a type of execution which was unknown when David penned this Psalm.
Verse 17 tells how the soldiers gambled for Jesus’ clothing.
But then, the tone of the Psalm changes. Though on the surface it looks like God has abandoned anyone who would die such a horrible death, verse 24 says that God has listened to His cry. Do you remember what it says in Hebrews 5:7? “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (NIV)
Verse 27 of Psalm 22 goes on to say that people of all nations will serve the Lord.
Verse 30 predicts the spreading of the gospel to unborn generations.
Why am I taking the time to point out these things? Because Jesus has asked us to remember His death. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus took some bread and gave it to His disciples and told them to eat it as a memorial of His body. He also took a cup and told His disciples to drink from it as a reminder of the New Covenant which He was making in His blood.
These emblems remind us of Christ’s death. But when we eat them, we also need to remind ourselves of the answer to the question, “Why was it necessary for Jesus to suffer and die?” The short answer is that Jesus had to die for our sins. He gave His life for ours.
We are told in 1st Corinthians 11:28 that we ought to examine ourselves before we eat of the bread or drink of the cup. Have I been living for Christ this past week? Am I coming before Him with a clean heart?
Before we partake this morning, we’re going to sing part of another Psalm. This is a Psalm of repentance which David wrote after his sin with Bathsheba. If there’s something you need to make right with the Lord, why don’t you do it while we sing? Then you can partake of the emblems with a pure conscience.
Psalm 51, Create In Me a Clean Heart