#401 Psalm 22 on the Cross From the Sixth to the Ninth Hour
Here is a short dramatization, offered in the spirit of reverence, to make what Jesus experienced more real to us
Suddenly the noon-day sun turned to darkness. The crowd was filled with fear and misgiving. Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44
Finally Jesus uttered the first verse of Psalm 22 in emotional prayer. [which is paraphrased in parts]
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34
“He calls for Elijah!” an onlooker called out. Matthew 27:47, Mark 15:35
Jesus mind labored to focus beyond the pain in order to silently utter the remainder of the Psalm. He recalled the holy words in a monotone of thought, the words rising and falling and melting into one another in quick succession as he struggled to breathe in and out.
‘O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer…
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; You are the praise of Israel.
In You our fathers put their trust; They trusted and you delivered them…
But I am considered a worm, helpless, Yet the blood of deliverance is in me,
Scorned by men and despised by the people…
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help…
I am poured out like water and all of my bones are out of joint…
And my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth…’
“I thirst,” Jesus cried out. A man quickly soaked a sponge with sour wine and using a branch of hyssop as an extension, he lifted it to Jesus parched lips. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Matthew 27:48-49; Mark 13:36; John 19:28-29
Jesus continued to pray the Psalm inaudibly his lips barely moving.
‘…They pierced my hands and my feet…they divided my garments
and cast lots for my clothing…
O my Strength, come quickly to help me…
I will declare your name to my brothers;
In the congregation I will praise you…Praise Him, all you descendants of Israel.
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;
He has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help…
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations….
“Father,” he cried out with all the strength that was left in his body, “into your hands I commend my spirit.” He willed his thoughts to continue to follow the words of the Prophet David. The words he uttered built up to a crescendo speed, spilling over one another as his hard breathing quickened with determination to finish the Psalm. Luke23:46
‘All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive.
In the future everyone will serve him; Future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness to a people who do not yet have real life.
For he has finished it.’
“It is finished!” he shouted. John 19:30, Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37
Divine emotion caused the earth to shudder and twist, rending the rocks and tearing the thick veil of the temple in two. Matthew 27:50-51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45