Friday, July 8, 2011

No Child of God Suffers in Vain (Psalm 22:27-31)

Psalm 22:27-31 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. 

Psalm 22 has been called the messianic psalm because it echoes Jesus' suffering on the Cross almost 1,000 years before it happened. At the Cross Jesus echoed Psalm 22:1 in Aramaic: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Even the description of the physical suffering and pain described in this psalm points to  Jesus' experience at the cross, viz.,

1. The mocking by the crowds at the Crucifixion (v.7-8): All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; "He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"

2. The physical torment of Crucifixion (v,14-15): I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

3. Piercing of his hands & feet (v.16): For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet.

4. Soldiers casting lots for Jesus' garments (v.18): they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

However, the psalm does not end in despair but in rejoicing (v.27-31): "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it."

Jesus' suffering is not for nothing but in order that through his suffering and death on the Cross, righteousness may be proclaimed to a people "yet unborn, that he has done it"! Hallelujah! That includes you and me--and many more who have yet to know what Christ has done for them at the Cross, including the next generation of the unborn. We have a privilege & responsibility to tell of Jesus' suffering at the Cross to the next generation. In God's economy, no suffering of His children is meaningless, no suffering is in vain. Every pain and suffering He puts us through is for redemptive purposes--both ours and others.

Father, I thank You that everything works together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Nothing happens to Your children but for a good purpose. Everything that happens in our lives (positive or negative) is redemptive, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed to a generation yet unborn, that You Lord have done it! Amen.