Saturday, August 6, 2011

Psalm 22 - The Psalm of the Cross

LINK: Psalm 22  

BACKGROUND 

David felt forsaken by God as he was surrounded by enemies who persecuted him. David was never near execution, but this is what this psalm describes. Most commentators agree that it is a prophetic psalm about the crucifixion of Jesus. David described the suffering of the Messiah that would occur almost 1,000 years later!

Note the similarities between this psalm and events in Jesus' life:

22:6-8/Matthew 27:39,42-44 - People mocked and scorned Jesus at the cross 
22:15/John 19:28 - Jesus thirsted on the cross 
22:16/Luke 24:39-40 - Jesus' hands and feet were nailed to the cross 
22:17-18/Matthew 27:35 - They divided up Jesus' garments by casting lots 
22:22/Hebrews 2:12 - Jesus will declare God's name  
22:27 All the earth will remember, turn, and bow down to the LORD, and he will rule the nations through Jesus!

REFLECTION/APPLICATION

This Psalm is perfect for practicing the Loyola method of meditation. Place yourself as a witness to the crucifixion. 

There is also an entire handout on many methods of meditation for download HERE.

Get Totally Involved -The Loyola Method

(This is an approach to meditation adapted from the “Spiritual Exercises” of Ignatius Loyola. He was a spiritual director in the 16th century. The Loyola Method works better when you have a passage that involves a narrative story.)

PART ONE (Preparation)

a. In prayer, ask God for grace to direct your thoughts, words, and actions to service and praise of his Divine Majesty.

b. Read the passage upon which you intend to meditate. Read unhurriedly, but without attempting yet to meditate on the passage. Your goal now is simply to familiarize yourself with the passage.

c. Determine an objective for your meditation time and ask God to help you accomplish it. If the passage you choose, for example, is the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:1–7, your objective may be a sense of awe and humility as you contemplate the mystery of-your Savior’s entry into the world.

Usually this preliminary request is formulated in terms of some emotion you wish God to give you as a result of your meditation. Ignatius Loyola believed that the ultimate purpose of meditation is application (that is, an act of the will), and that the will is motivated primarily by emotion rather than reason.

PART TWO (Meditation)

a. Visualize the scene. In the case of Luke 2:1–7, see in your mind the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Is it level, or does it wind through valleys and around hillsides? See Mary, in her ninth month of pregnancy, riding on a donkey, accompanied by Joseph who is perhaps leading an ox. They are going to Bethlehem to pay a tax. What kind of people are they passing on the way? Soldiers? Peasants? Merchants? Other families?

Study in your imagination the place of the Nativity. Is it spacious or cramped? Clean or dirty? Warm or cold? How is it furnished?

b. Assume the role of one of the characters in the passage, or of someone else who might be present. In Luke 2, for example, you could be the hotel’s servant or maid.

c. Now apply your five senses to the scene. Look carefully, watching all the action. Use your ears as you listen in on conversations. Apply your senses of smell and touch. What odors are present? What quality of garments are being worn? Feel the woodwork of the manger. Smell and feel the straw. Apply your sense of taste—is there anything there to eat?

d. Analyze your own feelings as a member of the scene. How do you feel about what is happening? How do you feel about the persons involved? How do you feel about yourself?


PART THREE (Conversation)

Talk to Joseph, or Mary, or someone else in the scene. Talk to them about the thoughts that have come to your mind as you have meditated on this passage. Talk to God or to the Lord Jesus.

          This conversation should in most cases lead to some form of action or personal application. 

Loyola Method exercise adapted From Discipleship Journal, Issue 6 (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress)



PRAYER

Jesus, You are the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. You had to die so that we might live, and I am so very grateful. Thank You. Amen. 
Post a Comment