BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 28, Day 4: Matthew 27:35-50; Psalm 22

Summary of passages:  Matthew 27:35-50:  The Romans crucified Jesus and divided up his clothes. They kept watch over him and his crime (king of the Jews) was placed over his head. Two robbers were crucified with him. Passer-bys hurled insults at him, telling Jesus to come down from the cross with his powers and if he were the Son of God, they would believe him then. The robbers insulted Jesus as well.

Jesus cried out to God, asking why he has been forsaken. The observers thought he was calling Elijah. Then Jesus cried once more and died.

Psalm 22:  David asks God why has God forsaken him and why is He so far away.  Yet God is faithful.  Yet David is a scorned man, mocked for his belief, and told let God save him.  Yet trouble from men is near.  He cannot speak.  He is pierced.  They divide up his clothes.  Lord, rescue me from them.  I am weary.  All nations will bow before Him.  And his righteousness will be proclaimed now and for all future generations.

Questions:

7)  Psalm 22:1:  Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 27:46 on the cross as he took on the sins and God briefly turned His back to His Son.  We feel Jesus’ agony both at his physical suffering and his spiritual abandonment.

Psalm 22:2-6:  We feel Jesus’ unanswered prayer; yet despite Jesus’ suffering and scornment by man, God is there, faithful, trustworthy, the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 22:7-9:  Jesus feels insignificant as he is mocked on the cross and told that God should come down and rescue him (Matthew 27:43).  Yet all in God’s plan.  Jesus reminds God of his birth and care given to him then–and thus the appeal for care now. [Note that just because God has abandoned Jesus, Jesus does not abandon God.  This is an example for us all.  Never give up.]

Psalm 22:12-13:  Men claw at Jesus and come against him.  The bulls of Bashan were known for their strength.

Psalm 22:14:  Jesus is exhausted and drained physically and spiritually.  Jesus is completely devoid of any strength.  This describes his physical suffering as bones were disjoined on the cross and some scholars speculate Jesus’ heart might have burst (John 19:34).

Psalm 22:15:  Jesus can no longer speak as his mouth is dried up and he has no more strength on the cross. Physical death awaits.  This harkens back to Genesis 3:19 where man returns to dust.  Christ became our curse (Galatians 3:13).

Psalm 22:16:  Jesus was surrounded by wicked men.  Jesus was literally pierced at the hands and feet to be hung on the cross

Psalm 22:17:  People mock him from his arrest to his death.  Even the prisoner crucified with Jesus mocks him.  They think they superior (if only they knew).  Jesus suffered no broken bones (John 19:31-37), which fulfilled prophecy (Psalm 34:20; Exodus 12:46; Zechariah 12:10; Numbers 9:12).

Psalm 22:18:  The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus divided up his garments and cast lots for his clothing.

Psalm 22:19-21:  Yet God is there to deliver Jesus into His arms from the people.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The Old Testament has always been relevant in my life as all the Bible (God’s breathed Words) is and should be.  The more and more connections made between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the more and more prophecy I see fulfilled only fills me up with God and spurns me to learn more and more and be closer and closer to my Creator and Lord.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It has made me realize that Jesus’ suffering is universal.  David suffered.  Jesus suffered.  So I must suffer as well.  It is part of life.  Part of the Christian life.  And yet both endured.  Both grew stronger.  Both did great things.  So can I.  For without lows, the highs are meaningless.  Both felt forsaken by God as I have in my life.  And that is okay.  Our journey to Him is just that–a journey.  As long as we know who is standing at the end, awaiting us with open arms, I deem it all worthwhile.

Conclusions:  There seems to be a theme or a belief that the Old Testament is meaningless to Christians.  That it is dismissed and deemed unimportant.  This annoys me.  As does questions like 8a.  To me, the Old Testament is just as relevant today as the New Testament.  It always has been.  I’ve never held such a belief that the New is more significant than the Old.  Yet in some of my groups, some have said as such.  And questions such as 8a seem to perpetuate that notion.

I wish people and the Christian community would stop implying such.  Without the Old Testament, there would be no New Testament.  Both are of equal importance and should be treated as such.  We must obey both to live like Jesus.  There should be no separation between the two.

End Notes:  We can sense the agony in the Psalm.  Can you imagine a child’s pain when their parents turn their back on them?  This is what Jesus is experiencing only at a much, unfathomable level as it is God who is the one who turns His back (and He never does).  The intimate and constant connections has been broken.  Yet, it is not a complete forsakenness–but enough for Jesus to cry out to God.  This is something we can relate to but never understand because we will never be in Jesus’ place.

Note even in the midst of suffering and doubt God remains Holy and good.  The devil did not win here.

Have you ever felt as low as a worm?  That’s pretty low but I think we’ve all been there.

Notice once the author has poured out his laments and feelings of abandonment he exclaims “You have heard me”. So it is with us and God.  God hears our cries for help and answers us.  He is always there and He is not silent in our misery.

Jesus declares and praises God.  It is often thought only the first half of Psalm 22 refers to Jesus but Hebrews 2:12 declares otherwise when the author of Hebrews quotes Psalm 22:22.

John 17:26 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” suggests the real reason Jesus died for our sins:  It was the will of the Father and Jesus obeyed completely and absolutely to God’s great glory.  Powerful stuff!

The second great reason for the cross is for us:  “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord and …bow down before him.”  It is comforting to know Jesus was thinking of us at the end.

The last verse of this Psalm echoes Jesus’ last words on the cross “He has done it.”

There is so much in this Psalm.  Take the time to soak it in and reflect on Jesus’s life especially as Easter approaches.  As you do, Jesus will become closer and closer.

This whole Psalm reflects Jesus’ life perfectly.  In it, the New Testament writers saw Old Testament prophecy fulfilled.  David, the greatest King of Israel, suffered.  As Jesus did.  As it was meant by God to be.  Victory through suffering.  Only God can breathe such life into such words.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s