Many years ago I was studying with a new convert who quickly became a good friend. Every week we’d study together at his apartment, back when he was single. One week we read Psalm 22. He was amazed at the detail of the prophecy about Christ.
Here are the words Jesus cited on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (v.1).
The mocking of the crowd is first heard here. “Let the Lord rescue him!” (v. 8).
He mentions the gambling over clothing. “The are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments” (v. 18).
After his suffering there is praise. “You are the reason I offer praise in the great assembly” (v. 25).
The invitation is given. “Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him!” (v. 26a).
His sovereignty appears. “For the Lord is king and rules over the nations” (v. 28).
The final notes sings of proclamation. “They will come and tell about his saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished” (v. 31).
It might be said that we have Psalm 23 only because we have Psalm 22.
The psalm is precious to me because it speak of Jesus, and because Jesus knew it and spoke from it on the cross.
I’m glad to say that the brother I studied with is still faithful, after all these years. He’s since married, has four kids, is a successful businessman. And he knows that the suffering of Christ was foretold as a part of God’s great plan to save mankind.