Psalm 22:12 Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me.
Psalm 22:13 They open their mouths against me – lions, mauling and roaring.
Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting inside me.
Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You put me into the dust of death
Psalm 22:16 because dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet.
not a wondrous cross
The frantic nature of this poem lends to its intensity. David first describes his opponents as strong bulls, then ferocious lions, then a pack of wild dogs, then a gang of evildoers. He describes himself as being poured out, pulled apart, melting inside, dried up, buried in a dusty grave, and then stabbed.
David is describing his own conflicts, but his words echo in history as a reflection of the ordeal his descendant faced on the cross. It was an ordeal so horrible that one figure of speech alone could not convey its horror. Despite the words of the great hymn by Isaac Watts, the cross was anything but wondrous. David was rescued from his ordeal, but Jesus was not.
“but we keep preaching Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and stupidity to Gentiles, but to those called ones, both Jews and Greeks, we preach Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”1
No, the cross was not wondrous, but the love of Christ which kept him on it so that we can be rescued from our sins is beyond description.
Lord, thank you for bearing the horrible cross – for us.
11 Corinthians 1:23-24.