As Psalm 22 shifts yet again away from the darkness of the crucifixion, we now see a glimpse of the glory that is to come. These verses are a beautiful picture of our eternal future where Jesus Himself praises God, and leads a global congregation in worship. Yet, the verbs in this passage are all in the future tense.
While this passage is a beautiful glimpse of the future, it is best to read it as a continuation of Jesus’ thoughts on the cross. As He was dying, Jesus looked forward to what was yet to come. What a beautiful example for all of us to follow!
Please read Psalm 22:22-24.
As Jesus looks past the veil of death, He sees a future where He Himself will proclaim to His brothers the Good News. From His first conversation after the resurrection, Jesus was focused on His brothers. He told Mary, “go to my brothers” (John 20:17), and He Himself then appeared to them. As He dies on the cross, He can picture this happy reunion with His spiritual brothers.
Then, Jesus looks even further into the future, when an entire congregation is praising God. As the congregation praises God, Jesus pictures Himself “in the midst of the congregation.” What a beautiful reminder that Jesus Himself is in our midst when we gather as a church to praise our God!
You can worship God by yourself. Jesus was able to worship God while on the cross! But there is something special about gathering with the saints to worship the Lord together. It is that special worship on which Jesus was focused as He was dying.
Verse 23 actually puts Jesus in the place of the worship leader, urging the congregation to praise God more! At the risk of abounding irreverent, you can almost picture Jesus filled with excitement, jumping up and down on a stage as the band plays, shouting out to the crowd: “Praise Him!” “Glorify Him!” “Stand in awe of Him!”
After all, Jesus died on the cross so that innumerable saints could be saved and could give God the glory that He is due. As He lay dying, He must have imagined God receiving all that glory, and rejoiced!
Why does God get all this glory? “For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted.”
Charles Spurgeon points out, “Never was one so afflicted as our Savior was in body and soul from friends and foes, by heaven and hell, in life and death… Yet Jehovah always loved Him, and in love He laid that load on Him, with a view to his ultimate glory and to accomplish the dearest wish of His heart.”
That's a God who is worthy of praise! God will never forsake His chosen ones. Even as Christ was enduring the trial, He looked forward to sharing with His brothers the tale of how God delivered Him. God is so good, and so worthy of praise! May we too look forward to worshipping our Lord in the midst of the congregation!
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