Let's Go Back to the Bible

Cross, Crook and Crown

There are some who have taken a closer look at Psalm twenty-two, twenty-three and twenty-four.  From these psalms, they have drawn three aspects of the Christ, each one highlighting a different characteristic of our Lord.

Psalm twenty-two turns our attention to the cross.  It was quoted by Christ while He hung there, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).  This psalm begins with those same words and prophecies about the events of the crucifixion.  The comments of the crowd are mentioned (Psa. 22:6-8; Matt. 27:42).  It talks about the state of His body (Psa. 22:13-17).  It specifically mentions the casting of lots for His garments (Psa. 22:18).  What starts as a mournful psalm turns to praise.  “But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance” (Psa. 22:19).  It also speaks of the future kingdom Christ died for.  “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.  For the kingdom is the LORD’S and He rules over the nations” (Psa. 22:27-28).

The most famous psalm speaks about the shepherd.  For this reason, some have dubbed Psalm twenty-three “The Psalm of the Crook”—that curved staff used to lead, guide and defend the flock.  Jesus referred to Himself as the good shepherd.  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15).  Looking at Christ as the good shepherd, it is not hard to think of Him in this way: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” (Psa. 23:1-3).  The King that conquered death can certainly shepherd us safely through that valley.

Psalm twenty-four begins with the supremacy of God and asking who can stand in His holy mountain.  The final part of the psalm is reminiscent of the triumphal entry of our Lord (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:4-5).  “Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!  Who is this King of glory?  The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psa. 24:9-10).

It is easy to see why the cross, the crook and the crown are drawn from these three psalms, each speaking to a specific work of our King.  I am thankful that the Bible was so harmoniously written that throughout its pages we can see the influence of inspiration and the grandeur of our King.