Psalm 22 is known as the Psalm of the Cross. Together with Isaiah 53, our Lord’s sufferings at Passover are so clearly prophesied that the evidence is overwhelming.
Even the number 22 is significant, because it is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and like all Hebrew letters, which are pictographs, the 22nd letter TAU is the symbol of a cross, or crossroads. The Scriptures speak eloquently about the necessity of keeping straight on, rather than turning aside from one’s appointed path.
Deuteronomy 28:14 And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left.
Isaiah 30:21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
Therefore, the story of the cross began in Gethsemane. It was our Lord’s “crossroads experience”. Let’s read Mark 14:34-42
Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Our Lord desperately wanted to “turn to the right or to the left” but although the heavens were now silent, it was as though He kept hearing the voice of His Father during the days of His ministry saying, ‘THIS is the way – walk in it’. He knew after the third entreaty that He had to go through with the cross. So the number 22, is particularly the “Gethsemane number”.