An Old Testament Glimpse of the Cross

An exposition of Psalm 22:1-31. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist on Sunday evening, October 24, 2010.

The cross is the heart and soul of our faith.  It is the means by which, sinful, corrupt, wicked folks like us are made right with God.  Man was created to be in fellowship with God.  But due to a willful act of disobedience man fell.  Sin separated the creature from its creator.  Yet God loved.  And because God loved he gave his only begotten Son.  That is the meaning of the cross.  Once you and I realize that we are sinners, fully deserving of the wrath of God and we understand the significance of what God did for us at the cross – we can never be the same.

In fact once we see the cross for what it is we must join with Isaac Watts and sing:

“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died,
My riches gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far to small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.”

The cross is both the glory and the shame of the Christian.  It is our glory because of what our God has done for us.  It is our glory because it demonstrates the love, mercy and grace of God.  It is our shame because it is our sin, our rebellion that put him there.  The cross both repels and attracts.  We are wondrously drawn to the cross and yet we are repelled by its horror.  Tonight we explore the wonder of the cross through the eyes of an Old Testament saint.

Our text this evening is found in the 22nd Psalm.
Text: Psalm 22:1-31

This is another of David’s psalms.
But it is clear that this is not about David.
There is nothing in David’s life that can compare with what is described here.
This is a prophetic Psalm.
Crucifixion is not a Hebrew form of execution and was unknown in David’s time.
David, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, said far more than he ever understood.
We find here what reads like an eyewitness account of the crucifixion of Jesus!


Thesis: The 22nd Psalm powerfully foretells of the pain, the agony and the triumph of the cross of the Lord Jesus.

This is a fascinating Psalm given it was written hundreds of years before the event!
Though crucifixion was unknown to the author – it is amazingly accurate.

Have you ever stopped to consider what was on the mind of the Lord Jesus during those six hours?  Have you considered what he must have been thinking?

You remember that he was arrested on Thursday night.
Held captive and harassed all night.
Early the next morning his was “tried” by what can only be described as a “mockery of justice.”

He was hurried off to the home of Pontius Pilate for sentencing because the Jews did not have the power to carry out executions.
He was scourged, beaten, mocked and then nailed to the cross.

All the while he was thinking of others.

When being lead to Golgotha he saw the women weeping he replied, “do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.”

When the soldiers nailed him to the cross he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

From the cross he saw to the care of his mother.

He spoke words of comfort and hope to one of those dying along side of him.

But at noon – all that changed as a cloud of darkness fell as a funeral pall over the cross.
It is as if God drew a curtain of privacy around the cross as he and the son did business.
From the darkness came this cry – “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” – “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  A direct, explicit quoting of the opening verse of the 22nd Psalm.  This is what was on his mind – the fulfillment of prophecy – the act of atonement.

There are three things I want us to note about this remarkable Psalm.

  1. Psalm 22 vividly foretells of the torment of the cross.  (22:1-2; 6; 11; 19-20)
  2. Psalm 22 accurately portrays the horror of the cross.  (22:7-8; 12-18)
  3. Psalm 22 gloriously reveals the triumph of the Cross.  (22:21; 31)

This Psalm powerfully foretells of the pain, the agony and the triumph of the Cross of the Lord Jesus.

That is what this table is all about.
It is a time for reflection, remembrance and reverence.

Take a moment to reflect on what he has done for you.

Remember the price He paid, the pain He endured, the hell He experienced.

Worship Him.

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