One of the most amazing pieces of predictive prophecy that are found in Scripture is recorded in the 22nd Psalm. This Psalm is so accurate a description of what the suffer on the cross experienced that some have observed that it seems to have been written by some eyewitness standing at the foot of the cross. But the Psalm itself is not from the viewpoint of an observer, but rather it is from the viewpoint of the suffer Himself. What is most amazing about this Psalm is that it was written 1000 years before the events recorded in it and it records events that never took place in David’s life. This Psalm is a vivid description of Jesus’ death on the cross that could only have been penned under the direction of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and filling. Think of someone describing the events that occurred on 9/11 1,000 years before that time, giving precise accuracy to the events that took place. Besides the description of the physical suffering of Jesus, there is a graphic explanation of what the suffer was experiencing emotionally and internally.
The Psalm begins with the statement, “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” (NKJV). We do not know at what point in David’s life he recorded these words. But what we do know is that at some point David was experiencing a deep sense of being forsaken by God. Jesus on the other hand, quoted this verse as He hung in screaming agony on the cross. Why did Jesus experience this desertion by God? This is horrible and mysterious why? Jesus experienced this desertion from God for the simple and yet very profound reason that He was taking our place on that cross. As Paul explains in 2 Corinthians when he writes, “For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him,” (2 Cor.5:21 NKJV). Jesus was forsaken for us. No answer came from heaven, as when God had spoken earlier and declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. The holiness of God demanded that He turn away. As the prophet Habakkuk stated when he said that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and Jesus became evil on our behalf. The pain and sorrow that Jesus experienced were overwhelming. The stress of His suffering and the misery of His suffering was compounded and multiplied many times over by His being separated from His heavenly Father. The question conveys a denial of the very existence of the God we thought we knew, and yet it was for us that God turned away.
The word “Forsaken” is a strong statement of a deep sense of personal abandonment, intensely felt at some point by David, but supremely experienced by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. I think leading up to Good Friday I would like to spend some time in Psalm 22, considering the amazing agony of the Lord Jesus Christ, which He bore for you and me. Are you resting in the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting in Him to become your righteousness? Jesus paid it all, so we don’t have to pay anything. Are you trusting in that finished sacrifice on your behalf?
In the King’s Service,
Pastor Rich Sivo