April 07, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
V 7 They Laughed Him to scorn
V 13 Ravening and roaring lion
V 14 All my Bones are out of joint
V 17 They look and stare
V 17 I may tell all My bones
V 18 The part My vesture
What men did to Christ, while necessary for the work of Calvary, did not affect redemption or the putting away of sin. Man could not have anything to do with contributing to his own salvation. Yet, we do not want to minimize or detract from what the Lord Jesus endured at the hands of men. Psalm 22 depicts some of the indignities which were heaped upon Him. Elsewhere, Psalm 69 reminds us of the shame, reproach, and dishonor done to Him. In the expressions above, along with others in the Psalm, we learn something of what must have caused Him infinite distress and grief. Consider:
The Insolence of His Foes: In verses 6-8, the indignities heaped upon the Lord Jesus are detailed. He was ridiculed by those who passed. They laughed Him to scorn (lit. insolently derided). He became the song of drunkards and the joke of all who saw Him. With absolute indifference to His sufferings and ignorance of its meaning, they paraded by the cross as though it were a day of sport and fun.
Not only was He ridiculed but He was the object of their reproach; He was viewed as a disgrace to the nation. He was “a reproach of men and despised by the people.” They wagged their heads, perhaps imitating the suffering of those on the tree. He was, in their eyes, reduced to “worm” status.
Added to this was their railing against Him. Could anything have been a crueler barb than: ‘He trusted on the Lord’? The One, the only One, Whoever trusted fully, had to listen as men used His trust as a source of blasphemy against Him.
The Immensity of their Forces: “Many . strong … ravening . roaring .” characterized His foes. All Satanic forces, as well, were arrayed in that hour against the Son of God. All man’s evil propensity was inflamed and fueled by Satanic hatred against God and His Christ. With unbridled fury and unrestricted power, man and Satan unleashed their attack on One lone sufferer on a cross. Nothing was held back; nothing was “out of bounds” to be used. Verbal, mental, and physical abuse all combined against the Lord Jesus Christ while in the hands of men.
The Intensity of their Hatred: Virtually every verse of the first half of the Psalm reveals something of the insatiable hatred and abuse which men heaped upon Him. With all the venom possible in the human heart, with all the malice of which we are capable, and with all the fury that sinful hearts can conjure up, we vented our rebellion against God against Him.
The Insensitivity of His Foes: The “hind of the dawn” title to this Psalm reminds us of the sensitivity of Christ. Never hardened by sin or by self-deceit, He was ever and always tender and sensitive. It was, first of all, to His Father’s will and pleasure (as a tender plant growing up before Him), but also to the presence and effects of sin all around Him. In contrast to His sensitivity is seen the hardness and insensitivity of His enemies. “They look and stare” and again, “They part My garments and cast lots upon My vesture.” As He was “giving,” they were “taking.” With no thought of His suffering, they surrounded the cross and thought only of the material gain which the days happenings might bring them. Callous and self-centered, their actions contrast with His selfless sacrifice.
Which of the four Gospels provide the most details about what the Lord Jesus sustained at the hands of men in particular?