The Resurrection of Christ: Part 5
Dr. Rafat Amari
The death and resurrection of the Messiah in Psalm 22
The resurrection of the Messiah is a common theme of the prophecies of the Old Testament. Every time a book of the Old Testament describes the atoning death of Christ, it is followed by references to His resurrection. His return to life is honored because He was willing to die as a ransom for the sins of humanity.
Consider Psalm 22 as an example. It describes the sufferings of Christ on the cross. In verses 7 and 8 we read a prophecy about Jesus being ridiculed while He was on the cross. It says:
“All those who see me, ridicule me. They shoot out the lip. They shake their heads, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him. Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him.’”
This was fulfilled exactly. When Jesus was crucified, the religious leaders ridiculed Him, and said to him in Matthew 27:43, “Let’s see if He is the Messiah. Let God rescue Him and deliver Him. ”
The psalm describes how horrible His death was. Suspended on the cross, He feels His bones pulled out of joint. Unable to move any part of his body, shortly all his joints are exhausted. Because the blood is diminished, gradually His heart becomes weakened until He feels as if it has melted within his chest. The next step is severe dehydration, which precedes death.
Psalm 22:14,15 describes the experience of the suffering Christ and His death on the cross:
“I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.”
The next verse, 16, specifically alludes to the cross, when it says the soldiers pierced His hands and feet. The verse specifies that the crucifiers were gentiles when it describes them as “dogs” because Jewish people at the time of Christ used that term about the Gentiles. Here is a prophecy that says the ones who will pierce the Messiah will not be Jewish.
The text continues:
“For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet.”
In verse 18 the psalm prophesies about something that happened after Christ's hands and feet were pierced and He was put on the cross:
“They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
In the Gospels, you will find the role the Roman soldiers played. John 19:23-24 says:
When they had crucified Jesus, they took His garments, including the tunic, and made four parts; each soldier was given a part. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves: “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lot.” Therefore, the soldiers did these things.
Although the Psalm was written hundreds of years before the crucifixion, it accurately describes of the scene at the cross. The psalm declares that the Messiah, after His crucifixion, will lead the church, called the "great assembly," and will glorify the heavenly Father through the church that will be born as a result of His sufferings. This is a clear indication of His resurrection after His terrible death on the cross. We read these words in Psalm 22: 24-25:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. ”
The next verse tells us that seekers of truth will be satisfied as the result of the death and resurrection of Christ:
The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever!
The poor intended here are the poor in spirit, the ones who feel their need for the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3: “
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 27 shows the result of the death of the Messiah. From all parts of the world, people will turn to the risen Messiah and worship Him:
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.
Verse 29 says the strongest nations of the earth, called the “prosperous of the earth, ” will benefit spiritually from the death of the Messiah and will worship Him. It says:
All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive.
The last clause, “even he who cannot keep himself alive,” refers to those who do not have part in the blessed eternal life because they failed to believe in the death and resurrection of the Messiah. One day they, too, will bow before Him in fear. This will happen on the Day of Judgment, when they will stand before Jesus Christ as righteous the judge of all.
Psalm 22:30 prophesies that the death and resurrection of the Messiah will be spiritually good news for all generations, “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.”
The Psalm concludes with verse 31 which says the righteousness of the Messiah and the importance of His death will be handed down to future generations. It Says:
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.
The people intended here are not only future generations in general but the people who will be born-again through their faith in the redemptive death of Christ. The psalm prophesies that the work of Christ will be the central belief of the church, which will be born spiritually because of faith in the death and resurrection of Christ.
Is Christ, whose death was foretold, the same Christ you will see in heaven? He can be, if you will accept His death as the atonement for your own sin.
“To as many as received Him to them, He gave the authority to become children of God. ”
Copyright 2006 by Dr. Rafat Amari. All Rights Reserved.