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God’s Word for You

Psalm 22:22-24 The resurrection

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, April 7, 2023

In the first part of Psalm 22, David has prophetically described the terrible suffering of Christ leading up to his crucifixion and death on the cross. Whatever personal circumstances led him to write this poem have fallen by the wayside and as far as we can determine, they are not recorded for us in the Old Testament, although as we have seen, certain incidents have shown that David suffered many things by the hands of many different enemies.

Now in the second part of the Psalm, David sings a song of thanksgiving for the help he has received. Here we can once again see that the many occasions of help offered in David’s lifetime foreshadowed the ultimate and glorious help given to our Savior when he was rescued from the grave in the resurrection. Christ wants to share the fruits of his redemption so that all may praise God and have everlasting life.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
  I will praise you in the congregation.

David prophesied that his great descendant, Jesus Christ, would cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The answer comes in this verse and as the glory of the resurrection of the dead. In the dark of the tomb on Sunday morning, the eyes of the dead Christ suddenly open. The small dark space is filled with light. Jesus lives. His spirit has re-entered his body, the body he will keep forever, the body with which he assumed man’s flesh into the divinity of the Son of God. He is risen from the dead. Did he laugh? Did he shout? Did he smile? David tells us: He declared and continues to declare the holy Name of God to mankind. He does this “in the congregation” or assembly. The writer to the Hebrews explains: “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises’” (Hebrews 2:11-12, and quoting our verse).

God the Father has accepted the sacrifice of God the Son. Otherwise, he would not have raised him from the dead. And in addition to this, one can only conclude that Judgment Day would have come then and there, with no hope at all for mankind ever to follow, and therefore the complete and absolute condemnation of all mankind. The failure of Christ would have been the victory of Satan. But Christ crushed the head and power of the serpent on the cross (Genesis 3:15).

23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
  All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
  Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

All believers are bound together in the words, “You who fear the Lord.” Surely all of Jacob, everyone of the spiritual Israel—they are the true Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). It was here, at this time and in this place, that God fulfilled all his promises to his people. It was here in Jerusalem that God told the returning exiles: “In this place I will grant peace” (Haggai 2:9). What was that but a prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the satisfaction he brought through his blood that brought us peace? This is certainly the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:2; Philemon 1:3). This is the peace that transcends all understanding and that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7.

Praise, honor, and revere! To praise is a word that in its simple form means to brag or be boastful. Here,  it means to proclaim that boast about God who truly deserves our boasting (this is also the word hallelu-hu that means “praise him” in Psalm 148:1 and 150:1).

To honor is a word that in its simple form means “to be heavy” like old Israel’s eyes (Genesis 48:10), but which means to “give weight to God’s name and reputation” with clear examples and praise. This is what we do when we preach God’s words and works to the world; when we thank him for what he has done (Psalm 50:23).

To revere is to stand in awe, or even to look away with reverence (Psalm 5:5). This is our meaning here, the respect that leads us to want to live an acceptable life to God (2 Corinthians 7:1). To revere an idol is nothing but idolatry; to revere our Almighty God is purely and absolutely our holy worship (Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 12:28).

24 For he has not despised or disdained
  the suffering of the afflicted one;
  he has not hidden his face from him
  but has listened to his cry for help.

This is the resurrection in clear words. But listen carefully to these words. The Lord is stating facts. He is also turning over the mockery he endured. They said, “Let God deliver him if he delights in him.” The Lord did indeed deliver him. The Lord does delight in his Son (Matthew 3:17, 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17). Therefore, these words also fit the context of Christ’s descent into hell.

The descent into hell was not part of Christ’s suffering, but rather his announcement to the devil and the other residents of hell that he had won the victory. Paul describes this in brief words: “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Verses like this one from Psalm 22 suggest the sort of proclamation he made.

The message is the same, preached to angels, devils, men, or women: Christ’s work has rescued mankind from their sins. The promises of the Old Testament are fulfilled, finished, completed, in Christ. Your sins are forgiven. Put your faith in Jesus. He has given you peace with God.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith
About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please visit the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church website.


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