Forsaken and the Forgiven
The poignant, opening sentence in Psalm 22 reveals the
disturbing fact of Gods servant crying out in God forsakenness.
How could one of the members of the Godhead turn His back on another
member of the Trinity?
God forsaken of God was the price of our atonement. When
Jesus Christ bore our sin on the cross He was forsaken of God the Father. He paid the full
price for our atonement on the cross when He bore the penalty of the wrath of God against
sin for us. This sacrificial act reveals how much God loves us.
Psalm 22 has been described as the Psalm of the Cross
because it is the best description in the entire Bible of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The amazing thing is King David wrote it a thousand years before the event described
actually took place in history. Moreover, execution by crucifixion was never practiced by
the Jewish people and was unknown for centuries until developed by the Carthaginians and
later refined by the Romans. David paints a prophetic picture of the anguish of the
Suffering Servant of God to pay the penalty for our sins. Psalm 22 is entirely messianic
and prophetic. David foresaw and spoke of the suffering of the Anointed of God.
No event in the life of David accounts for the terrible events in
this Psalm. It defies a naturalistic explanation.
The words of the poet are fulfilled literally and exactly in the
execution of Jesus Christ. The desolate God forsaken cry (v. 1; cf. Matt. 27:46); the
contrasting periods of light and darkness (v. 2; Matt. 27:45); the extreme humiliation and
treatment of the sufferer (vv. 6-8, 12-13; Matt. 27:39-44) and the casting of lots for His
garments (v. 18; Matt. 27:35) are some of the greatest evidences for divine inspiration of
all the Scriptures including this Psalm.
What was Jesus thinking about while He hung on the cross during the
terrible three hours of God forsakenness? The Gospel writers Matthew and Mark inform us He
suddenly cried out, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani. It was a direct quotation of
Psalm 22:1. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46; Mk.
My God, my God is the translation of Eli, Eli my
Strong One, my Strong One. It is He who turns His face from the
suffering one (vv. 2-3).
Why is it that our ancient fathers trusted in Elohay, the One to be
feared by men, and He always answered them, but even though His Servant cries by
day, the response is, You do not answer; and by night, I have no answer
(v. 2)? They trusted, cried out, were determined and
not ashamed (v. 4). God has turned His back on Him and has forsaken Him.
Jesus was apparently reflecting on great Old Testament Scriptures as
He hung dying as our sacrifice. He saw His crucifying as a fulfillment of the Scriptures.
These prophecies gave Him encouragement and focus as He died to purchase our atonement.
Psalm 22 opens with the awful sense of God forsakenness that took
place during the three hours of darkness at Calvary. The one crying out in God
forsakenness feels completely enshrouded by the wrath of God.
The answer to the question, My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me? is found in the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21.
He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our
behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Have you experienced perfect forgiveness from the One who was
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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