My family owned a three bedroomed semi-detached house.
22, Bailey Road,
‘Before this place was ours it belonged to a tall dark handsome man’ said mom. The property is now owned by another family. But I’ll never forget the time I lived there. The house is full of childhood memories, teen adventures, and early manhood aspirations. This was a very special time in a place exclusively our own.
We all take ownership of things. Not just houses. You, may own a car, smart phone or jewellery. Some people own businesses, they patent inventions and copyright art.
1985, Michael Jackson brought the copyright for 251 songs from the Beatles catalogue. Lennon and McCartney wrote the songs, but it was Jackson who owned them.
Did you know that there’s a very special psalm in the Bible which is owned exclusively by Jesus Christ?
(Yes, I know God owns everything and the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it Psalm 24:1)
But I’m very impressed how Jesus took ownership of Psalm 22.
Some scholars suggest Psalm 22 was written by a ‘post exilic redactor’. I know ‘post exilic redactor’, lol.
We all need one of those. Just like we need to hang our clothes outside to dry on a rainy day. Not.
‘Post exilic’ was the second Temple period in Jewish history. Lasted 530 BCE until 70 CE.
The view is Psalm 22 was written in this period. The Israelites were forcebly taken from their ancient city of Judah by the Babylonians. Then they were abused in captivity by the oppressive regime. But they survived the oppression and returned to their land. Somewhere during this time after exile, one Israelite person (post exilic redactor) drew comfort from existing Hebrew scriptures. Basically he’s said to have cut and pasted those sacred scriptures to compose Psalm 22. I disagree with this theory but I am aware of it.
According to tradition and the title of Psalm 22 in the Bible, the psalm was written much earlier, by Israel’s king David.
It’s a point of interest that Reformer John Calvin, treated Psalm 22, first in its original context with King David as the suffering person in the psalm. Then Calvin applies the psalm as speaking about Christ on the grounds that,
“this psalm (22) was composed under the influence of the Spirit of prophecy concerning David’s King and Lord, 1 Peter 1:12”.
Many Evangelical Christians know Psalm 22 is messianic and it predicts our Lord’s suffering Mathew 27:39-46, Mark 15:29-34.
This belief is strongly adhered to. Especially as Jesus said the psalms spoke about Him. And what the psalms said about Him would come true explained Jesus Luke 12:44. This is fundamental to a believer’s thinking. However, Psalm 22 is more than an accurate prediction and fulfilled prophecy about Christ.
Psalm 22 is a psalm which Jesus took exclusive ownership for, at Calvary. There’s no other person in history to do what Jesus did with psalm 22. Jesus, publicly and permanently took ownership of the psalm from beginning to end. At His crucifixion the Lord recited the first verse of the psalm,
‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me’ Psalm 22:1.
These initial words of Psalm 22 are the very words Jesus uttered on the cross, Matthew 27:46 Mark 15:34. In doing this Christ took ownership of the psalm.
But Jesus didn’t stop at verse one. He incorporated the whole psalm deliberately reciting a snippet of the psalm’s final verse.
‘they will proclaim his righteousness declaring to a people yet unborn’
and here’s the snippet
‘He has done it’. Psalm 22:31
It’s the words, “He has done it” which are most telling in the final verse of the psalm.
The Hebrew langauge is simply, ‘that He has done’.
The indefiniteness of the phrase expresses the completeness of the work. And so, while being crucified at Calvary,
‘When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “it is finished’ with that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ John 19:30
‘It is finished’ said Jesus speaking his last words on the cross.
‘He has done it’ says the final verse of Psalm 22.
Who else in history died speaking the first and last verse of psalm 22 in a public execution with their hands and feet nailed to rugged timber? No one!
Jesus paid a price for psalm 22 which no one else could afford. At best king David and Israel are licence users of the psalm. They used the psalm ligitmately but they never owned it. David and Israel only suffered for themselves, whereas Jesus suffered redemptivley for sinners. The copyright of the psalm 22 belongs exclusively to Christ.
Its not only what a psalm says about Jesus which makes it messianic. It’s also what Jesus says about the psalms which provides the X-Factor.
‘They speak of me but I speak with them’ says the Lord.
The copyright on Psalm 22 has not been signed with a Montblanc UNICEF soiltaire fountain pen. It’s been signed in a red and bloody covenant. It’s truly ‘the psalm of the cross’ but it reaches far beyond that. It is exclusively the copyrighted ‘Psalm of the Christ‘.