Johnson: The Relation Between Type And Fulfillment

Similarly, the Davidic lament of Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” belonged on Jesus’ lips (Matt. 27:46) not because the sufferings portrayed in the psalm had no referent in David’s own experience but because David himself—in his experience of undeserved affliction and his hope of ultimate vindication—was a type of his greater messianic son, Jesus. Precisely because David was the anointed king, his words expressive of his own sufferings appropriately apply to the suffering of his Son, the eschatological Anointed One. In fact, the psalmists’ description both of their own innocence and of the severity of their own sufferings find “heightened” fulfillment in Christ, so that what had been hyperbolic and symbolic description in the Old Testament setting sometimes receives an even more “literal” fulfillment in Jesus: “For my clothing they cast lots” (John 19:24, citing Ps. 22:18); “You will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption” (Acts 2:27, citing Ps. 16:10).

Dennis Johnson | Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures, ed. John J. Hughes (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007), 208.


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