The Cross and the Crown

Bible Book: Psalms  22 : 1-31
Subject: Life; Resurrection; Easter; Power of Jesus; Lordship; Death, Victory Over

The Cross and the Crown

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Psalm 22:1‑31

David knew what it was like to have enemies. Saul was the King of Israel before David, and Saul tried on several occasions to kill David. But David never experienced the things described in Psalm 22. David was never totally deserted by God, nor did he have hands and feet pierced. David did not have people strip him of his garments and gamble for them. All of these experiences are described in this Psalm. Why then did David write these words? Actually these words, though written hundreds of years before the death of Jesus on the cross, are prophetic. David may or may not have had a clue as to their meaning, but nonetheless, the Spirit of God used him to write one of the most beautifu, amazing and prophetic Psalms among the 150 which are in your Bible.

Note with me two major things in this Psalm. First note ...

I. The View from the Cross  22:1‑21

Have you ever wondered what it was like for Jesus to look down on the crowd that surrounded the cross upon which he hung? That is a rather impossible thing to do, but we can read about it. In fact, we discover some things about the view Jesus had, not only at the crowd in front of Him but about the Father above Him and the Devil below Him. Note what He saw …

A. Deserted by the Father

Psalm 22:1‑6a

1. The Cry 1‑3

Jesus quoted the words found in verse one of Psalm 22 from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” You see, when Jesus took our sins upon Him, the Father turned His back upon His Son.

We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

What amazing love Jesus reveals in taking our place and experiencing that which we ought to experience for our own sins.

Note only do we see His cry, but note …

2. The Contrast 4‑6a

In verses 4 through 6 we see that God listened to others who called upon Him, but He is unwilling to listen to the One described in this Psalm. This tells us that God shut His ears to the cries of His Son from the cross. How amazing! God heard the cries of mere men and women, all of whom were sinners, but not his Son. Why did He not hear His Son from the cross? He did not hear Him because Jesus bore our sins and suffered the fires of judgment in His own body for us on the cross.

Incredibly, this Psalm prophetically decribes Jesus as a "worm." This word may well stand for the crimson crocus which was crushed in order to produce the scarlet dye used to make royal garments during ancient times. This was very fitting since Jesus was crushed and shed His blood that we might wear the royal garments of the King's (God’s) family.

In the view from the cross, Jesus was deserted by the Father in Heaven, but also He was …

B. Despised By The People

Look at Psalm 22:6b‑18. In this passage, there are at least two important factors that impacted the view of Jesus from the cross.

1. The Ridicule 6b‑10

How terribly Jesus was ridiculed while on the cross. In Matthew 27:43 we see how clearly this prophecy was fulfilled. They mocked him and made fun of him. They spat on Him and laughed at Him as He died for their sins. There is no way we can imagine the pain Jesus, the Lord of Glory, must have felt as He looked upon the glaring hateful faces in the crowd that day. Of course, He is still ridiculed by many in the world today. To refuse Christ as Lord and Savior is to side with those who treated Jesus the way He was treated as He suffered on the cross.

2. The Ruthlessness 11‑18

The description of how Jesus was treated on the cross is seen in the words used in Psalm 22, the prophetic Psalm about the sacrifice of the Savior. Jesus saw those around the cross as bulls with goring horns, lions with snarling teeth and wild dogs with ruthless attacks.

Just think of one description of Jesus as He thirsted from the cross. Just think of it, the One who created every clear stream and every spring of cool water actually craved and ached for one drop of water as He writhed in agony. His tongue stuff to the roof of his mouth.

They pierced Him. They gambled for His garment beneath His feet.

As Jesus looked out from the cross, He saw the ridicule and ruthless nature of those who represented us and our sins.

Jesus looked up and saw His father turn His back and desert Him, He looked out from the cross and saw His own people despise Him, but He also looked down to see that He was being ...

C. Devoured By The Devil

Look at Psalm 22:19‑21

Now, I don’t mean that Jesus was actually eaten alive, but I do want you to look at a description of the enemy at the cross. He is called a “lion.” Then, search your New Testament and you will see that Satan is seen as a lion going about in this world seeking Him he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The devil sought to devour Jesus while He was on the cross.

So, as we close verse 21 of Psalm 22, we note that Jesus suffered horribly on the cross. Why? He suffered for the sins of us all. He did this so that all of us who are willing to repent of our sins and believe upon Him as Lord and Savior might be forgiven, saved and relieved of a coming judgment.

Then, when we come to verse 22 we see bursts of brilliant flashes of light and glory. From this scene of death and agony we are transformed into a position of victory and triumph. Here we move from the view from the cross to the .....

II. The Victory through the Cross

Look with me at Psalm 22:22‑31. We see here two wonderful crowns.

A. The Crown of Life - of the Resurrection

In Psalm 22:22‑25 we see several wonderful truths.

1. An Amazing Presence

In this passage we see the One who was crucified alive and in the midst of the congregation. He is not dead but alive! All through the prophetic years of the Old Testament God was revealing a plan – a plan to provide a Savior to redeem the awful harm that Adam’s sin brought upon the world. In Genesis 3 God prophesied that one day the Serpent (Satan) would bruise the heal of a man born of the seed of a woman. First, a woman doesn’t have a seed – that comes from man. So, God prophesied eons ago that He would provide a Son without the need of an earthly father. Then, God prophesied that this virgin-born man would crush the head of Satan. Wow! What a promise. The promise was fulfilled when Jesus died for us and rose from the dead. Even this very day, Jesus is among us. Those of us who believe in Him have His presence with us. When we meet together to worship, we have yet a special sense of His presence. Jesus told His disciples, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Folks, we serve a risen Savior! He is with us. The cross could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him. What a Savior!

Not only do we see His amazing presence, but note also ...

2. An Astonishing Power

Since He had the power to overcome sin, death and the grave, we are called upon to recognize and honor His power! Now here is the wonderful truth. The same resurrection power that was in Jesus is granted to all those who trust and follow Him. Yes, the astounding power of the resurrection is ours through Christ. No wonder Easter is such a wonderful day in the Church of our Lord. It is resurrection day! Jesus rose from the grave to grant us resurrection power in our own lives.

Again, note ...

3. An Awesome Peace

What peace came to the disciples when they realized his presence and power in their lives on that resurrection morning all those years ago. Thus Christians have sung for years these words:

“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!”

What a peace is mine, indeed.

He grants us peace in the face of our sins.

He gives us peace in the midst of life’s troubles.

He rewards faith in Him with Peace in the hour of death.

Also we see ...

4. An Adoring Praise

Christ ordains the praise of God in the congregation. He died and was raised to the glory of God. We are to worship Him with songs, testimony, commitment and joy.

Crown Him King of King and Lord of Lords, for he is the risen - His is the present, powerful, peace‑giving Master who deserves all praise forevermore.

We see the crown of life and resurreciton, but notice now ...

B. The Crown of Royal Lordship

Psalm 22:26-31

He is Lord Nationally 27‑28 (Every nation shall bow to Him)

He is Lord Personally 29 (His people and eventually every knee shall bow to Him)

He is Lord Eternally 30‑31 (He is eternal Lord of heaven and earth)

This Easter, let us lift up His praise!

  • They could not SHUT HIM UP by stopping His Voice
  • They could not SHUT HIM IN by using a Grave
  • They cannot SHUT HIM OUT of the lives of we who know Him as Risen LORD and SAVIOR!

Let us praise Him.


The Psalm closes with these words, “…He has done this.” Those four words are actually translated as, “It is Finished.” That is precisely what Jesus said on the cross. “It is finished.”

Indeed, He bore the CROSS and He wears the CROWN. It is done, all you need do is receive Him by faith. You can't conquer the gave through what you DO - For he has DONE THIS!

Salvation is not DO this and Do that to get to heaven. Salvation is HE HAS DONE THIS - He has done all that is required. Simply turn to Him - the RISEN LORD - by faith.