So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
John 18:11 NASB
For those who love Jesus, Psalm 69 is a grim reminder of what the Messiah had to endure. This psalm reflects the anguish of the Messiah, from several angles. He would be hated without cause (verse 4), was a stranger among His own siblings, endured tremendous pain leading up to and during his crucifixion (verses 14-20), obviously sorrowful (verse 20), and thirsted while hanging on the cross (verse 21). Just look at how this psalm opens up:
I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.
Psalm 69:2 NASB
It’s pretty apparent the distress that the Messiah would have to endure. When we parallel it with several New Testament passages we see how Jesus experienced precisely what Psalm 69 is talking about. In John chapters one and seven we’re told how Jesus was not received by his own. This refers to both the nation of Israel and His own siblings. Eventually many would come to recognize Him for who He was. But not initially. To be constantly mocked, criticized, and followed by mostly two-faced “friends” would be emotionally draining, to say the least. Matthew 26 describes Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane in the early morning hours before His crucifixion. He is literally sweating blood and prays that His soul is exceedingly sorrowful. He’s about to face the most excruciating death sentence. He lived a perfect and sinless life, was constantly misunderstood, and then put through a sham trial and tortured to death even though he was guiltless.
Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick.
And I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
And for comforters, but I found none.
They also gave me gall for my food
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Psalm 69:20-21 NASB
Matthew 27 tells us that one of the soldiers gave him some vinegar wine to ease His thirst. But it could not ease His suffering. While hanging on the cross, Jesus faced jeers from the crowds. No one stepped in to provide Him comfort. How could they? His hands and feet had nails driven through them. His lungs were filling with blood. His shoulders were dislocated. His body was riddled with gashes from the whip. His forehead was pierced with a crown of thorns. If the pain weren’t enough, the crowds offered Him insult after insult.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.
I will praise the name of God with song
And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
And it will please the Lord better than an ox
Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.
The humble have seen it and are glad;
You who seek God, let your heart revive.
For the Lord hears the needy
And does not despise His who are prisoners.
Psalm 69:29-33 NASB
The Psalm closes in praise. The purpose of God was to work salvation through the Messiah. Three days after Jesus died on that cross, He rose from the dead. Salvation for all who believe was achieved. And when Jesus rose to heaven, He was placed at the right hand of God to be the name above all other names. The story of the Messiah is that which shows the heart of God in pursuit of His creation. Those in captivity can be freed. Those in sinful bondage can be loosed. Those in depression can have their hearts revived. All because our Messiah endured the heartbreaking hardship on our behalf. Praise Jesus! The next time you read Psalm 69, take the time to appreciate what our Messiah has done and what He had to walk through.