A Worm

A Worm

Psalm 22 is the Messianic Psalm quoted by Jesus as He hung on the Cross. However, it is not to the well-known opening phrase, My God, My God, Why have Thou forsaken Me?, quoted by Jesus that I wish to draw your attention to but instead to verse six where it refers prophetically to our Saviour as a worm and not a man! I am told the Hebrew language translated here as worm (tola`ath) is interesting as it refers not to an earthworm as we might know it but to an unusual insect that would be more accurately translated as the ‘scarlet worm.’ You might wonder why would this matter but all will become clear because as I am led to understand within this little animal is contained an utterly amazing picture. The life cycle of this worm is most interesting, and the applications are easily made by anyone familiar with the Easter story and the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. When it is time for this worm to give birth to new life it finds a piece of wood and climbs up and attaches its body to the wood and then creates a crimson protective cloak over its body. However, as the worm goes up the tree to give new life it is also going up the tree to its own death. The worm adheres so tightly to the wood that to remove it results in its death, in fact the worm will never survive the birth process; this is a one-time only act. The baby crimson worms are born under the protective cover of the adult scarlet worm, but the mother not only provides shelter for the new grubs but also gives her own living body as food for them. As the mother worm dies it oozes a scarlet dye which not only stains the wood but covers her babies, dying them crimson for the rest of their lives. In fact this dye is so strong it was harvested and used in ancient Israel as a clothing dye. A few days (three) after giving birth the protective covering turns white and falls from the wood. I am informed that this waxy coat is not only used as a wood preservative but also crushed for medicinal purposes. I’m sure that you would agree that this is an utterly amazing type of our Lord Jesus contained in this simple phrase. Not just any phrase from any Psalm but from a Psalm quoted by or Saviour from the cross. This little worm is a creation of God, a humble worm, yet what a picture we find. One would think it was planned that way. A picture that points us to Jesus; the one who at this Easter season went up the tree, the Cross of Calvary and there gave His life that He might bring many sons to Glory (Hebrews 2:10). Praise God for the cleansing and covering power of His blood that we can know forgiveness of sins and peace with God and that through His death we have been brought into everlasting life!