READ: Psalms 21-22
THINK: Do you realize how much the Old Testament talks about Jesus and what He would do? The whole Bible is a unified testimony of God's plan to bring people into a personal relationship with himself. The crux of that plan is the cross of Christ, on which He suffered and died for our sins so we could receive forgiveness. Just as the New Testament looks back on what Jesus did, the Old Testament provided a preview of what Jesus had yet to do. Psalm 22 is one of the most quoted in the New Testament. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the psalm writer vividly predicted the intense suffering that Jesus would endure as He died on the cross. But the psalm also points to the hope of Jesus' resurrection. All followers of Christ, when suffering for His sake, can identify with the words of this prayer.
RESPOND: What can you do to make sure that your goals and desires line up with God's goals and desires for your life (21:2)? Why do you think David so easily recognized God as the source of all his blessings, victories and successes? How does God's presence bring joy (21:6) and how does His love bring stability (21:7)? Why can't those who oppose God ultimately succeed (21:8-12)? Why is Psalm 22 sometimes called "the psalm of the cross"? (See 22:1-31 note.) What words of Psalm 22 did Jesus speak as He was dying and why? (See 22:1 note.) What should you do when you feel isolated from God? (See 22:2 note.) What words and actions described in Psalm 22 were fulfilled during Jesus' crucifixion? (See 22:7; 22:8; 22:16 and 22;18 notes.) What do these fulfillments indicate about God's Word? (See 22:7 note.) What hope and assurance does God's Word give His followers during times of difficulty and suffering (22:3-5, 22-24)? How does 22:30-31 describe what Jesus' followers do? (See 22:30-31 note.)
PRAY: Pray that God's desires and plans become your desires and plans. Give thanks for the joy of God's presence. Thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made for you on the cross and for the hope and assurance provided by His Word. Ask Jesus to help you share that hope with others.
ACT: Put a bookmark in today's passage and carry your Bible throughout the day. Refer briefly to these psalms whenever you're having trouble or difficulty. Look for ways to honor God in these situations. If the opportunity arises, try to encourage others and look for ways to start conversations about spiritual issues.
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