One thing that becomes crystal clear as we look at these passages is that Christ’s death was no accident. It was no mistake on the part of God. Rather, he had planned it from the beginning of time for our salvation.
The irony was that when the chief priests asked for a sign from Jesus to prove that he was the Messiah, Jesus did give them a sign. They were just too blind and deaf to perceive it. They demanded he come down from the cross. He pointed them to prophesy.
He couldn’t have been more clear when he cried out,
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
The priests thought he was calling for Elijah. But Jesus was actually pointing them to Psalm 22. Why? If they had only seen, they would have understood that Jesus was fulfilling many of the things that David had written.
He was scorned, despised, mocked, and insulted. In fact, the chief priests themselves used virtually the very words that David prophesied they would say.
He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him. (Psalm 22:8)
He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ (Matthew 27:43)
David also gave a graphic description of suffering on the cross. He said,
All my bones are out of joint. (Psalm 22:14a)
This disjointing of the bones is what often happened to people hanging on a cross.
David then said,
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. (Psalm 22:14b)
John records that when the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side, water and blood flowed out, which doctors today say is a sign that he had suffered heart failure.
David prophesied Jesus’ great thirst upon the cross, saying,
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth (Psalm 22:15)
And he prophesied Jesus hands and feet being pierced (Psalm 22:16).
More, a person hanging on a cross could probably see his ribs pressing against his flesh, thus David saying,
I can count all my bones (Psalm 22:17)
And of course, David prophesied the casting of lots for Jesus’ clothing, saying,
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. (Psalm 22:18)
All these pointed to Jesus as the Messiah, but the chief priests who knew the scripture, couldn’t see it.
John points to other scriptures, Psalm 34, Psalm 69, and Zechariah 12, all of which point to the cross.
And of course, Isaiah 53 describes even more. Jesus being pierced for our sin and taking our punishment for us, being silent in front of his accusers, interceding for those who killed him, being originally assigned a grave with the wicked, but instead being buried in a rich man’s tomb, and of course, being resurrected from the dead.
In short, again, this was no accident. It was planned and purposed by the Father for our salvation from the beginning of time. So let us never take the cross for granted. Instead let us praise God with hearts full of thanksgiving for the price his Son paid for our salvation.