But I am a worm, and not a man; a reproach of men and despised by the people.Psalm 22:6 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
I love the psalms. For many reasons, yes I love them. There are gems like this verse that give a stark contrast to a fleeting moment compared to eternity.
It is written by King David, the man after God’s heart. One that was far from perfect yet God favored. This is David’s lament, yet with prophetic significance as that speaks to the experience Jesus had on Earth.
Yes, Jesus suffered the disapproval of others, He suffered the dismissal of indifference.
Sometimes, circumstance leads some of us right into that lonely place of reproach and despair. It can happen at any moment, even in a crowded room. And if our minds are not focused correctly, we can easily slip further into a circular morass of depression.
The real idea that permeates David’s song is not the singular focus of that verse. There is the steadfast focus on God in the rest of the psalm that gives encouragement. Read it for yourself. David, and writing prophetically of Jesus, knew the reproach of men. He also knew the promises of God and in Whom hope never is disappointed.
I‘ve experienced this solitary place more than I would like to admit over my lifetime. I’ve been called more names than I want to remember… Even by adults who supposedly cared for me. I can be alone in my thoughts anywhere, anytime.
Things I know… Knowledge is a firmer foundation than emotion. What I feel is fleeting and can change. What I know can change what I feel.
The man after God’s heart knew that place. Jesus also isn’t unfamiliar with the same. He has suffered despair far worse than David, you, or I could imagine.
The God of the universe has firsthand experience with hate and spite given to Him by the very creatures He made in His likeness and whom He sustains.
That is my God!
He’s the One Who set aside what it is to be God to experience the things I experience… Even death. The Bible says that He even tasted that death for me.
He didn’t deserve to get what I ought to have.
“I am a worm,” Jesus says.
He stooped to serve me. He didn’t hide from it. Yet in that same instant that I remember that it comes to mind, He did that so I could have no fear.
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hid His face from him; but when he cried to Him, He heard.Psalm 22:24 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
I need not fear despair. I need not fear reproach. I need not even fear death. For He has conquered it all. And He does not hide from it.
Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed. The One that stooped to serve me, will have all willingly kneel to Him.
All the prosperous ones of the earth will eat and worship; all who go down to the dust will bow before Him, even he who cannot keep his own soul alive. Posterity will serve Him; it will be told to generations about the Lord; they will come and declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born, that He has acted.Psalm 22:29–31 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
He is alive. He has overcome. Behold, He is risen and coming back for His own.