"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me." - Psalm 22:14
It is almost impossible for a Christian to read Psalm 22 and not immediately think about the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and all he endured in our place at Golgotha. It's certain that he intended as much by quoting the opening line this Psalm while he hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was as though Christ wanted us to know that this Psalm was, as he said, “written about me,” (Luke 24:44), and its supernaturally clear prophecies of crucifixion were meant to identify Christ and to assure our hearts of the truthfulness of both the Bible and Jesus himself.
We see the hand of a timeless God behind the words, “they have pierced my hands and my feet” (verse 16), for only God could inspire David to write such a strange thing. (The Assyrians brought crucifixion to Palestine centuries after David wrote these words!) And that the Psalm is primarily a prophecy of Christ's sufferings was clear to Martin Luther, who read it and marveled that the spotless “Lamb of God” could suffer such alienation (“forsaken,” verse 1) from God... the exact same alienation Luther felt because of his own sins. This puzzle led Luther to rediscover substitutionary atonement and justification by faith... for only if the sinless Christ were bearing our sins could he be made to utter such words of desolation!
"God accepts the dedication of our lives to his will and purposes, then he pours us out in his own time."
However, in a very real sense, Psalm 22 is also about King David's sufferings as well. Maybe the details found in the specific language he used are meant only as a prophecy of Christ, but there can be little doubt that David was himself in some kind of personal anguish when he wrote this Psalm. When he wrote “I am poured out like water...” (verse 14), he must have been speaking personally, though we cannot know what his circumstances were. But we can know who was doing the “pouring out” - it was the same God who poured out his own beloved Son at Calvary. The blood of the sacrifice was to be poured out beside the altar (Deut. 12:27) as a symbol of a life given fully to God's purpose, even to death. And while Christ has indeed drunk the cup of wrath for us, all of us drink from the Cup of his sufferings, as he promised James and John: “You will indeed drink from my cup.” (Matt.20:23) God accepts the dedication of our lives to his will and purposes, then he pours us out in his own time.
Paul said this same thing when he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:6, “I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure.” He even said the same in Philippians 2:17, even though he had earlier declared that he had every expectation of being released (cf. Phil. 1:25). To Paul, both his death and the suffering that he did in service to Christ beforehand was the “pouring out” of his life by God. And Paul expected the same to be part of all Christian living, for he wrote in that most ignored verse of Romans 8 (verse 36), “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.” Who “considers” us so? God!! When we dedicate our lives to Him, He accepts the dedication- FULLY!