Psalm 22:1: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
Big Idea: God always hears us. Daily Challenge: Persevering through suffering
Does this first verse of Psalm 22 bring to mind anything? This was the verse that Jesus quoted on the cross (Matt. 27:46). Jesus was going through the worst time anyone could ever imagine, and we can know what was in His mind as He suffered because of the scripture that he quoted. Many have interpreted what he said as though Jesus thought he had been abandoned by God. Perhaps some of us feel that way now. If not abandoned by God, then certainly by others. It’s lonely, heartbreaking.
But I would like us to consider a different intent in this quote by Jesus. Perhaps by beginning this Psalm, Jesus had something very different in mind than just a cry out in confusion. You see, Jesus was in such physical pain, He was not able to finish the recitation of this Psalm. But He knew that many who had advocated crucifying Him would have memorized its entirety. All Jewish men started studying the scriptures as a young boy, and much of the sacred words were memorized. Jesus knew that beginning this Psalm would bring back the memory of the rest of the words to those listening. Even in such awful times as He went through on the cross, perhaps Jesus was preaching God’s promises that He will hear our cries to Him (v. 24): For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help Ps. 22:24. Perhaps He was not crying out of a broken heart, feeling abandoned, but rather reassuring us through scripture that during times of trouble God hears us, even though it may look like He has abandoned us.
Then come the commandments of how to live during times of hardship – to praise Him despite our troubles and suffering (v. 22-26). And in 27-31, it predicts what will happen after Jesus’ death. At some point, we will all kneel before Him. Generations will serve Him, witness about Him, and proclaim His righteousness. The prophecy in this Psalm surely confirms Jesus as Messiah. And our Messiah was “preaching” His last sermon, just by beginning this Psalm, testifying that we can praise God through trials, because Jesus is and will be our King, and that The Father is faithful.
O God, thank you that no matter what we go through, we can always count on you, even when it seems like you are not listening. Help us to praise you and trust you through these times. We look forward to being with you in eternity! Help us to serve you while we are here on this earth.
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