Summary: the prediction of the melting and crucifixion of Christ
April 9, 2003 Psalm 22:14-16
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
In 520 B.C., King Darius learned that the temple at Jerusalem was not being built as the previous king had decreed nearly twenty years beforehand. Therefore, he ordered that this building continue, with an added incentive: Ezra 6:11 11 Furthermore, I decree that if anyone changes this edict, a beam is to be pulled from his house and he is to be lifted up and impaled on it. The Assyrians would take a man from his house in the middle of the night, remove a doorpost from the house, sharpen it, and plant it in the ground. Then they would throw the man on the pointed post so it would catch him under the rib cage. He would be left to hang until he died. This cruel act of impalement by the Assyrians seemed to be the precursor to what we now know as the crucifixion. History shows us that crucifixions were not practiced until the Persians came to power 330 years before Christ. Yet it was 1000 years before Christ was born, that David wrote this Psalm, which makes a direct reference to crucifixion. That’s what makes this verse of Psalm 22 so incredible, as in it we will see a direct prediction that -
Jesus Would Be Crucified
I. Melting his strength
Gold, copper, and steel are some of the strongest substances known on earth. Yet even these strong substances have what they call “melting” points. When exposed to extreme heat, they melt under the fire, becoming malleable substances that can be shaped the way you want it. You might compare steel to a man’s courage. Some men have great courage to face the worst of problems - kind of like Job. But every man has his breaking point. Maybe you’ve faced it - after several nights of the flu, or several financial disasters, or the continuous cry of a child. We all have points where our courage or strength turns from solid steel to liquid metal.
This Psalm of David vividly describes that breaking point that Jesus had to go through. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. Water has different stages - it can be as hard as ice, as thin as steam, and as runny as water. When it is in the form of water, it has no real substance to it. If someone throws a bucket of water at you, it will just run off. You can be traveling thirty miles an hour on waterskis and fall in the water, and you won’t get hurt most of the time, because the water is soft - malleable. The same goes with wax - at times it is very strong. But when you burn it, it can melt, becoming as soft and pliable as can be.
David used these visual aids to predict what would happen to Jesus’ heart - his strength. Slowly but surely, it would melt away within him. How would this happen? If you just take a quick review of the night Jesus was betrayed, you can see how this happened.