The Suffering Saviour

FFF 12:8 (Oct 1966)

The Suffering Saviour

Robert Agnew

Meditations On The Twenty-Second Psalm

This Hebrew poem has been called the Psalm of “Broken Sobs,” but it I might well be entitled the Psalm of “Exultant Songs.” It is dedicated to the Chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar which means The Hind of the Morning, a possible melody to which the Psalm could be sung, a melody rightly chosen for the golden rays of morning shine therein, even in the night of Calvary’s gloom.

The deepest sorrows of verses 1 to 21 end in the delightful joys of verses 22 to 31, and the “why” of the Sin-Bearer in verse one is answered by the great “but” of the Holy One in verse 3. Sorrow and song are marvellously linked together as demonstrated by the two exclamations: “O My God, …Thou hearest not” (V. 2), “O Thou that inhabiteth the praises of Israel” (V. 3).

This Psalm of the Suffering Saviour is intensely personal, He cries, “My bones,” “My heart,” “My bowels,” “My strength,” “My tongue,” “My hands,” “My feet,” “My garments,” “My vesture,” “My soul” (Vs. 14-20).

The two great prophetic glimpses of the forsaken, rejected One may be thus joined together.

ISAIAH 53

PSALM 22

“Despised” (V. 3).

“A worm and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people” (V. 6).

“Oppressed” (V. 7).

“Many bulls have compassed Me; … They gaped upon Me … as a ravening and a roaring lion” (V. 12-13).

“Travail” (V. 11).

“Poured out like water, …

“My heart is like wax; it is melted” (V. 14).

“Uncomely” (V. 2).

“Dried up like a potsherd” (V. 15).

“Grief” (V. 2).

“My tongue cleaveth to My jaws” (V. 15).

“Rejected” (V. 3).

“They pierced My hands and My feet” (V. 16). “They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture” (V. 18).

“Sorrow” (V. 3).

“Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death” (V. 15).

As with the patriarch Abraham in his severe test, the centre of all his blessing was in “This Thing” (Gen. 22:16), the offering up of his only begotten son; so with the great apostle in his testimony, the centre of his appeal was “This Thing” (Acts 26:26), the offering up of the Only Begotten Son of God. In ever-expanding glories, this Psalm is climaxed by the clause, “He hath done this thing” (V. 31). The Forsaken One (V. 1) who was brought into the dust of death (V. 15) becomes the One whose praise is in the midst of the congregation (V. 22), in the great congregation (V. 25). All the ends of the earth (V. 27), all the kindreds of the nations (V. 27), and even a people not yet born (V. 31) shall declare His praises. The praises of God’s Darling One (V. 20) shall go forth unto the ends of the world; the One who called Himself “a worm and no man” shall become the Governor among the nations (V. 28).