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Psalm 22 & Jesus

January 5, 2009

Now whilst I do not see Psalm 22 as prophetic of Jesus and his suffering in a strict sense, it is easy to see why the post-resurrection community of faith saw in Psalm 22 a fitting description of Jesus and I do find Kraus’ comments helpful:

When Jesus now in the agony of the cross prays the first words of Psalm 22, two things happen: (1) Jesus enters the archetypical affliction of abandonment by God which was experienced in the OT by those who prayed and which is described in surpassing words and images. But this means that Jesus solidly identifies himself with the entire fulness of suffering. The path of the Son of man coming from heaven leads to the depth of misery. (2) The first Christian community now saw associations between the fate of the OT petitioner in Psalm 22 and the death of Jesus on the cross.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2009 12:48 pm

    How come, Richard? (Ie that you don’t see Psalm 22 as strictly prophetic?) (If you don’t mind me asking 🙂 )

  2. January 6, 2009 9:07 pm

    Hi Cath, the reason is simply that I don’t believe that as the Psalm was being used in its original setting the king had Jesus in mind, but I shal endeavour to post on this later in the week to add a bit of substance. 🙂

  3. January 13, 2009 3:16 pm


    Could the same argument be used to refute any Messianic Prophecy? For Example, Micah 5:2 was not written originally Jesus in mind, yet was clearly Messianic (See Matthew 2:6). What the prophet originally meant in the prophecy is important, but the ultimate end of all prophecy is Christ.

  4. January 13, 2009 5:56 pm

    Puritan Lad,

    I think the big difference between Micah and the Psalms is that the former is by definition prophetic whilst the latter isn’t, hence in Micah you get a future time referent “out of you will come” which is entirely missing in Ps. 22. Of course a Christological interpretation is warranted, again I shall endeavour to post on this later in the week to add a bit of substance.

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