Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain. Bob Dylan
Psalm 22 invites us into the world of personal suffering. It’s not a pretty sight. Our author graphically expresses the depth of his suffering:
- There’s spiritual pain–feeling truly abandoned by God (vs. 1-2)
- There’s relational pain–facing constant ridicule from others (vs. 6-8)
- There’s physical pain–forced to endure the breakdown of his own body (vs. 12-18)
Where’s God in all this? Isn’t God supposed to be there for us humans when we’re suffering?
That’s the point–God is there. God is the one who is suffering.
It’s shocking how the expressions of pain in Psalm 22 so closely mirror the suffering of Jesus on the cross. I can’t quite get over how the author of this Old Testament lament could so graphically understand and express the conditions surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion. Not only does this Psalm help us pull together the storyline of the entire Bible, it also alerts us to consider the miraculous nature of this very ancient book.
God doesn’t just watch our suffering. God suffers with us. It’s my prayer that no matter the depth of your spiritual pain, relational pain, or physical pain–you’ll know that Jesus is right there with you. He’s going to stick it out with you and endure through the pain with you. His love for you wouldn’t have it any other way.
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. Sophocles
PS. It’s worth noting how this Psalm ends. Verses 22-31 crescendo towards an exhilarating conclusion–forecasting a dramatic world-changing victory for the one who has greatly suffered. Sounds kind of like a resurrection, doesn’t it?