02-PSALM 22 – THE PSALM OF THE CROSSIn his introductory comments to Psalm 22 in what is generally known as THE PSALM OF THE CROSS in The Treasury of David, CH Spurgeon is quoted as follows:
Title – “To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar. A Psalm of David.”
This ode of singular excellence was committed to the most excellent of the temple songsters: the chief among ten thousand is worthy to be extolled by the chief Musician; no meaner singer must have charge of such a strain; we must see to it that we call up our best abilities when Jesus is the theme of praise.
The words “Aijeleth Shahar” are enigmatical , and their meaning is uncertain; some refer them to a musical instrument used upon mournful occasions, but the majority adhere to the translation of our margin, “Concerning the hind of the morning.” This last interpretation is the subject of much inquiry and conjecture. Calmet believes that the Psalm was addressed to the music master who presided over the band called the “Morning Hind,” and Adam Clarke thinks this to be the most likely of all the conjectural interpretations, although he himself inclines to the belief that no interpretation should be attempted, and believes that it is a merely arbitrary and unmeaning title, such as Orientals have always been in the habit of appending to their songs.
Our Lord Jesus is so often compared to a hind, and his cruel huntings are so pathetically described in this most affecting psalm, that we cannot but believe that the title indicates the Lord Jesus under a well-known poetical metaphor; at any rate, Jesus is that Hind of the morning concerning whom David here sings.
Subject – This is beyond all others The Psalm of the Cross. It may have been actually repeated word by word by our Lord when hanging on the tree; it would be too bold to say that it was so, but even a casual reader may see that it might have been. It begins with, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and ends, according to some, in the original with “It is finished.”For plaintive expressions uprising, from unutterable depths of woe we may say of this Psalm, “there is none like it.” It is the photograph of our Lord’s saddest hours, the record of his dying words, the lachrymatory of his last tears, the memorial of his expiring joys. David and his afflictions may be here in a very modified sense, but, as the star is concealed by the light of the sun, he who sees Jesus will probably neither see nor care to see David.Before us we have a description both of the darkness and of the glory of the cross, the sufferings of Christ and the glory which shall follow. Oh for grace to draw near and see this great sight! We should read reverently, pulling off our shoes from off our feet, as Moses did at the burning bush, for if there be holy ground anywhere in Scripture it is in this Psalm.Division – From the commencement to the Psa_22:21is a most pitiful cry for help, and from Psa_22:21-31 is a most precious foretaste of deliverance. The first division may be sub-divided at the Psa_22:10, from Psa_22:1-10 being an appeal based upon covenant relationship; and from Psa_22:10-21 being an equally earnest plea derived from the imminence of his peril.With the proviso already stated I fully endorse these memorable word by CHS, my only point of difference is that I see it as viewed prophetically before time began. Christ sees the trial of the Cross in all its gory detail and it’s triumph and glory long before He made His commitment to the ordeal and long before King David viewed it through the lens of prophecy some 1000 years BC.
With these thoughts in mind we draw near to view this most holy sight – Our Lord stretched upon the Roman Gibbet, fully extended in body, soul, mind and spirit for the eternal salvation of all who put their trust in Him.