In the stories of Jesus’ crucifixion, it is amazing the number of Psalms that came to their minds. Even more amazing is which Psalms.
As Jesus hangs there, he calls to mind both Psalm 22 and Psalm 31, the latter of which likely most vividly describes Jesus’ torture. Anguish, distress, affliction, weak bones, the contempt of neighbors and dread of friends – all this is the experience of the psalmist, and the experience of Jesus.
Yet neither Psalm 31 nor 22 are psalms of despair. They are poems of hope. The writer has seen God act in his behalf before, and he knows God will do so again. And so, though help is not on a visible horizon, the writer can say “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”