Psalm 22, continued
“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, KJV
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama
sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”
Matthew 27:46, NKJV
I must tell you that as I sit here meditating on this verse tears flow from my eyes. My heart is filled with great emotion, but nothing remotely comparable to the emotions experienced by Christ on the day He willingly gave His life for you and me. Come with me on a journey back to the foot of the cross. In the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, let us remove our shoes and bow our knees in order to give Him the praise due His name. Come a little closer so that you can see clearly our precious Lord and Savior as He hangs upon the tree that He once spoke into being.
“Hail to the King of the Jews,” the angry crowds screamed as they jabbed the crown of thorns upon His head. Blood now streams down His face from the wounds those sharp thorns inflicted. Bruises and open gashes cover His body because of the beating He endured. His face is swollen, His eyes blackened with bruises caused by each punch He took as He was mocked, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” Rusty nails have been driven deep into His hands and feet. A spear has been thrust into His side and blood and water flow. On the ground all around us is the blood of the King. Christ hangs there, not because of the nails that have been driven into His hands and feet but because of His love for us; because of His desire to be obedient to His Father and glorify His name.
We can see with our eyes the beaten and bruised body of the man before us, but I don’t know that our human minds can grasp the heart of this God-man. His heart is so full of love for each of us that nothing of Him is left; it is all about Christ’s heavenly Father, God Almighty. Stay with me here; His heart was full of love yet at the same time I believe it was broken and empty. As He hung there during that ninth hour, Christ experienced an abandonment and hopelessness only the shoulders of the King could carry because it was the result of the outpouring of the divine wrath of God upon Him as the sin-bearer for every man, woman, boy, and girl that would every walk on this earth. From the depths of His heart, Christ roared like a lion to the very throne room of heaven, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Never before had Christ ever felt that kind of separation from His heavenly Father. Never before had He felt so alone. And, never before had a Father been more proud of His Son. Never again would the sacrifice of an animal be necessary for one’s atonement because the Lamb of God had just taken away the sins of the world. The Lion of Judah had fulfilled the task He was commissioned to do.
God forsook His one and only Son for a time so that He would never have to forsake His children.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, NKJV