November 30 2022
Today, Wednesday November 30
The Suffering Savior
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
But 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!" But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.”
There is no chapter in the whole Bible that gives us a picture of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross like Psalm 22. I don’t think we can ever in our finite minds fully comprehend and understand the suffering that Christ endured while on the Cross. This chapter helps us to get a glimpse of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual agony of Christ during the six hours that He hung on the cross. And this chapter was written by King David one-thousand years before Christ was even born.
David is the author, but we have a difficult time finding an occasion in his life that would call forth this kind of psalm. According to the record, the Lord never deserted him in his hour of need but always provided friends to help him and deliverance from his enemies. The intense suffering described here isn't that of a sick man in bed or a soldier in battle. It's the description of a criminal being executed!
Numerous quotations from the psalm in the four Gospels, as well as Hebrews 2:10-12, indicate that this is a Messianic psalm. We may not know how this psalm related to the author's personal experience, but we do know that David was a prophet (Acts 2:30), and in this psalm he wrote about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first part (vv. 1-21) focuses on prayer and suffering and takes us to the cross, while the second part (vv. 22-31) announces the resurrection and expresses praise to the glory of God.
An understanding of Messiah's suffering and glory is basic to grasping the message of the Bible (Luke 24:25-27; 1 Peter 1:11). The opening words of the psalm immediately transport us to Calvary, for Jesus quoted them at the close of a three-hour period of darkness (vv. 1-2; Matt. 27:45-46; Mark 15:34). "I am not alone," Jesus had told His disciples, "because the Father is with me" (John 16:32), and yet He cried out that the Lord had forsaken Him. When He spoke these words, He had been engaged in a mysterious transaction with the Father, dying for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2; 4:14).
On the cross, Jesus was "made sin for us who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21) and made "a curse" (Gal. 3:13) for us. In some inexplicable way He experienced what condemned lost sinners experience "away from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess. 1:9; Matthew 25:41). I personally believe, that in a way that only God really knows, Jesus suffered an eternity in hell, separated from God during those last three hours of darkness from noon to 3pm on the Cross.
This cry to “My God” was both in the “daytime and in the night season”. Remember Jesus was crucified around 9am in the morning when the sun was brightly shining. Then at noon, the Gospel of Matthew records: “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 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 27:45-46).
My friend, have you ever trusted Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? If not, why not right now take the time to invite Him into your heart and life!