My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? ~Psalm 22:1
Psalm 22, 23, and 24 are a trilogy of psalms that are known as the Shepherd Psalms. In Psalm 22, we see Jesus as the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for His sheep. In Psalm 23, Jesus is referred to as the Great Shepherd Who cares for and leads His sheep. In Psalm 24, Jesus is referred to as the Chief Shepherd of the sheep. In Psalm 22, Jesus gave His life for the sheep. In Psalm 23, Jesus is the Leader of His sheep. In Psalm 24, Jesus is the Lord of His sheep. In Psalm 22:1, we see a vivid description of the suffering that Jesus endured for every sinner on the cross. In this psalm, we get a sense of how Jesus experienced the utter helplessness and trauma of being forsaken.
We see the unanswered prayer.
Jesus was crying out to His Heavenly Father. These very words were recorded as being prayed while He was suffering on the cross. It is a prayer that asks, “Why?” Why do I have to endure such suffering? Why are You not helping Me? Why have You left Me to suffer all alone? Jesus was asking His Father for help but to no avail. It is a picture of unanswered prayer. There are unanswered prayers because of unconfessed sin. However, in this case, this prayer was unanswered because God’s will was being accomplished through the death of His Son and not through Jesus' deliverance.
We see the unbelievable pathos.
Jesus was experiencing suffering and abandonment. He was left all alone in agony, nakedness, rejection, and a slow death. Being forsaken and abandoned is one of the worst experiences to go through. It is the feeling of complete helplessness. It is realizing that the one who has left you will not return to help you. The Father had to turn His back on the cries of God the Son. God the Father would not change His promised plan that an innocent, sinless Victim would have to be the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of men. Jesus experienced your rejection and mine. What an awful agony!
We see the unmatched propitiation.
Jesus became sin for us, Who knew no sin. He gave His life as our sacrifice and substitute. All of our sins were paid for in full through His shed blood, suffering, and death. Jesus fulfilled all of God’s righteous demands for sin for every sinner. He tasted death for every man. "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Christ died for us! Had we been at the cross, I do not think that we could forget or remove from our mind the cries, the cross, and the crucified. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” the judgment for sin was complete. The Just died for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.
We see the unending plea.
Psalm 22 was written as a plea for sinners to be saved. It is the gospel plan unveiled through the account of the sacrificial death. Jesus is still calling sinners to come to the cross and behold what He endured so that the gift of salvation can be theirs.
Take some time today to carefully and solemnly read through Psalm 22, and thank the Lord for what Jesus did for you. He was forsaken just for you!
Have a mercy-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Joshua 5-8