Psalms 22* Complaints of discouragement. (1-10) With prayer fordeliverance. (11-21) Praises for mercies and redemption. (22-31)1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifiesin this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, andthe glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint ofGod's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God,pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritualdesertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even theircomplaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, andspiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick?why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, "Whyhast thou forsaken me?" is the language of a heart binding upits happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ.In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soulbefore God when he was upon the cross, #Mt 27:46|. Being trulyman, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through suchgreat sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declaredthe holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpestsufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which hewould be continually praised by his Israel, more than for allother deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee,were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee,sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt andreproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state towhich he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and ofhis birth, explains this prophecy. 11-21 In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christpraying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and tolook up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death isdescribed, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced hishands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, andhis whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severepain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by thefire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then canstand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The lifeof the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice mustbe the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he wascrucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of hisrighteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behovedChrist to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as thetrue Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends,who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agonyprayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass fromhim. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stayourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort ofspiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. Heprays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that hasdelivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think uponthe sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in oursouls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of hissufferings. 22-31 The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The firstwords of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon thecross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied tohim, #Heb 2:12|. All our praises must refer to the work ofredemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciouslyaccepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offeredfor sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for oursakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. Allhumble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction andhappiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst afterrighteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that whichsatisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much inthanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience ofworshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he isLord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet inChrist. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is ourwisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who isable to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall servehim. God will have a church in the world to the end of time.They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be thesame to them that he was to those who went before them. Hisrighteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare tobe the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of alltheir joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Herewe see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and ofour Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source ofall grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, thetreatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct underit we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that canprofit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establishtheir own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of Godshould thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Letthe ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honouredthe Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it.Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come,and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer.Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect ahappy end of every trial
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