continue our study of the great crucifixion, Psalm 22. Its title ‘The
Crying Deer’ is the picture of a dying animal crying out under the
pains of death.
to study verses 12-21 which say,
have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They
gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I
am proud out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart
is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is
dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou
hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me:
the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and
my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They
part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not
thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns
of the unicorns.”
section gives us some of the greatest word pictures in the Bible to
illustrate the sufferings of the Son of God. In verse 12 we see the
picture of the ‘bulls of Bashan’. This was an area known for
its fat, strong bulls. These were the priest, elders, scribes,
Pharisees, rulers, and captains stamping their feet, foaming at the
mouth and desiring to gore the helpless naked Lamb of God. In verse
13 we find their mouths open and spewing forth blasphemy like the roar
of a wild lion. O what wickedness the blessed Saviour endured just
14 we are confronted with a word picture that should bring tears to
ones eye that observes this scene. Our Lord says He is “…poured
out like water,” He speaks of the poured out offering which tells
of being emptied of ones self. He says, “…all my bones are out of
joint:” There are 206 bones in the human body. Can we imagine
them all being out of joint. He says His ‘heart melted and ran
into his body’. This may speak of the excessive hidden suffering
of Hell that our Saviour suffered. We may see here that He died of a
broken heart. John Gill said this, “If the heart of Christ, the
lion of the tribe of Judah melted at His wrath, what heart can endure,
or hands be strong when God deals with them in His wrath?” In
verse 15 we have the picture of a clay vessel baked in the fire until
there is no moisture in the vessel. It simply burns with the heat of
the fire. Our Lord’s tongue cleaves to His mouth because of a lack of
water. He who made all water has none. He has rolled in the dust
with His enemy, death. What humility my Saviour suffered just for
16 we are confronted with those weaker in position called “…dogs…”
and the “….assembly of the wicked…” They are weaker in
position but just as ungodly. Our Lord said, “…they pierced my hands
and feet.” This could not speak of David, but a greater than David,
my Redeemer who died just for me. The Bible says we were engraved on
the palms of His hands. Could it have taken place when His hands were
17 He has endured such suffering He could count all His bones. He
says the crowd stares upon Him. Can you imagine the gloating
and staring at the naked Son of God? “Let us blush for human
nature, and mourn in sympathy with our Redeemer’s shame. The first
Adam made us all naked before God and therefore the second Adam became
naked that we might be clothed with His righteousness.”
(Spurgeon) He did it all just for me.
18 we are reminded of the inspiration of the Bible. Years before it
happened it is recorded in Holy Writ just as it will be. I am
reminded of what our Lord said as they rolled the dice for His
clothes. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what
in verses 19-21 our Lord returns a prayer to His heavenly Father.
Where could I go, O where could I go seeking a refuge for my soul?
Our Lord asks not that He be right there but in humility asks that He
not be far off. O is that not just like my Saviour who died just for
the Father “…my strength,” He asks Him to hasten with help.
Drastic cases demand drastic measures. This gives a whole new meaning
to ‘I am weak but thou art mighty’ or ‘when I am weak then am I
sword of verse 20 speaks of the end of utter death. He calls
Himself the “…darling…” which means ‘my only one’. The
dogs would be those who have hung Him between life and death.
21 He asked to be saved from the “…lion’s mouth”. This would
be Lucifer, the devil himself coming in for the final blow of death.
Our Lord crying from the horns of the unicorn speaks of the altar of
persevering prayer to the Father.
reminded of the chorus of the great old hymn which says,
Redeemer, Precious Redeemer, Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s Tree,
Wounded and bleeding, For sinners pleading, Blind and unheeding, DYING