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King David's Crucifixion

By Nathan Mates

Despite the date above, this is not an April Fool's Day joke. King David lived ten centuries before Jesus's arrival. The Romans were centuries away from founding Rome. And yet, King David of Israel spoke of the crucifixion of Christ in exact, specific terms. Psalm 22, written by King David, is the record of this; it is a good exercise to see how many things were foreshadowed.

Psalm 22:1-2: For the director of music. To the tune of "The Doe of the Morning." A psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" [Also in Mark 15:34] Jesus quoted David quoting him and the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 22:3-5: Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

There is deliverance for others who called for God's help. And, on that cross, there was no deliverance for Jesus-- he had to face death apart from God's help.

Psalm 22:6-8: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."

Matthew 27:39-44: Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Psalm 22:9-10: Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.

Luke 1:26-33: In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Psalm 22:11-14: Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.

John 19:34: "Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water." According to doctors, such a thing is a sign of a heart attack-- the Son of God literally died of a broken heart for this world.

Crucifixion also pulled bones out of joint, as the body was contorted into unnatural positions, and the victim was forced to pull against the nails through their wrists in order to get air into their lungs.

Psalm 22:15: My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

John 19:28-30: Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Psalm 22:16: Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Such piercings are the hallmarks of crucifixion-- nails through the hands and feet. Crucifixion was well known to the writers and initial audience of the New Testament, while today we need explanation.

Psalm 22:17-18 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Luke 23:34-37: Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One." The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

Psalm 22:19-21 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

All the requests to God can be offered, but there was only one thing that could happen that day: Jesus's death. It was the only way mankind's sins would ever be atoned for-- the shedding of innocent blood.

Psalm 22:22-29: I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 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. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him-- may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him-- those who cannot keep themselves alive.

Romans 14:9-12 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Psalm 22:30-31 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn-- for he has done it.

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

God's word, as given to King David, was fulfilled centuries later. All of the other promises of the Bible-- eternal life, forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit-- are similarly just as valid to us centuries later. You can put your trust in God's word to keep you in good standing-- and you can bet your life on that.

See more Christian writings by Nathan Mates at http://www.matesfamily.org/xtian/index.html