“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1)
It is the moment upon which everything in history turns. The Child is nailed to a cross in open shame. He is mocked and rejected, gasping for breath and fighting off the hordes of Hell. All but a few have turned their backs upon Him. And the few that do stand with Him are powerless to do anything but watch in horror as He slowly dies before their weeping eyes.
Then, showing the depths of His anguish, The Child cries out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Even God has turned away. Yes, God turned His face away from His Beloved Son, so that He could now turn His face towards you and me!
When Jesus was made to be sin, His Father was made to look away. This was the moment Jesus dreaded above all — the moment when He would be separated from His Father. The Amplified Bible tells us that Jesus “shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father (Hebrews 5:7 AMP). And this is why He prayed with strong crying and tears that the Cup might pass from Him. This is why He sweat drops of blood.
When Jesus cries out from the Cross, He says, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” For the record, He is not quoting Psalm 22. Rather, the Psalmist, touched with that prophetic gift that often works in minstrels, was quoting Jesus in His agony, even though it was centuries in the future! Astounding!!
I invite you to read the entire Psalm for yourself, bearing in mind that it provides us a prophetic glimpse into the full sufferings of Christ on the Cross. Here’s a sampling.
“I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’ This is the pain of ultimate rejection, and mockery.
“I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. (Psalm 22:14, 15 NKJV). This is the indescribable physical trauma He suffered in His Body.
“For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. (Psalm 22:14-18 NKJV). This is the open shame and humiliation He suffered at the hands of the wicked.
There is no way we can ever imagine the full mental and physical torment that Jesus suffered on the Cross. These few glimpses show us enough to merit our full devotion, for He took our place there. This was what awaited each one of us in our own appointed hour, but He interceded and embraced it fully as His own.
He became the forsaken Savior, so that we might be the beloved Saved!