MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

PSALM 22 – OUTLINED

PSALM 22:1-5, THE PERCEPTION: FORSAKEN BY GOD

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

PSALM 22:6-8, THE REALITY: DESPISED BY THE PEOPLE

But I am a worm (scarlet, red), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

PSALM 22:9-11, THE MESSIAH’S HOPE IN GOD

But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

PSALM 22:12-21, MESSIAH’S PRAYER

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

PSALM 22:22-31, MESSIAH’S TRIUMPH AND PRAISE

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

OBSERVATIONS

  • The words ‘‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me,’ come from the first verse of Psalm 22. The Jews who were acquainted with the Torah would have recognized these words and would have immediately thought of Psalm 22 in its entirety.
  • The 22nd Psalm gives a vivid description of the suffering Messiah.
  • Matthew 27 and Mark 15 are the two places in the New Testament where Psalm 22:1 is recorded. In both instances the scriptures record the response of the Centurion Soldier who heard Jesus cry out these words. His conclusion was “truly this man was the Son of God. ”And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:34-39).
  • What persuaded the Centurion Soldier that Jesus was the Son of God? If God had abandoned Jesus, this would have only reinforced what the Jews already thought. it would have proved he was not the Messiah. Yet if his death on the cross did indeed prove that He is the Son of God as Jesus said it would, then the words he recited from Psalm 22 must have been a part of this undeniable evidence that Jesus is God’s Son.

 

GOD WAS WITH JESUS DURING HIS SUFFERINGS

  • GOD DID NOT HIDE HIS FACE FROM HIM – For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard (Psalm 22:24).
  • HE WAS HEARD – Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Hebrews 5:7-9).
  • I AM NOT ALONE BECAUSE THE FATHER IS WITH ME – I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me (John 16:28-32).
  • THE FATHER HAS NOT LEFT ME ALONE – Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him (John 8:29).
  • HE IS NEAR WHO JUSTIFIES ME – The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up (Isaiah 50:5-9).
  • BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE TASTED DEATH – But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9).
  • GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
  • THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT JESUS OFFERED HIMSELF TO GOD – How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14).
  • JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD AS AN UNBLEMISHED LAMB – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:18-20),
  • THE DEATH OF JESUS WAS A SWEET FRAGRANCE TO GOD – Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (Ephesians 5:2).

 

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? IS ONLY ONE OF SEVERAL STATEMENTS MADE BY JESUS FROM THE CROSS.

  • JESUS SPOKE WORDS OF FORGIVENESS – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots (Luke 23:34).
  • JESUS SPOKE WORDS OF PROVISION – Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:27).
  • JESUS SPOKE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE – And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:39-43).
  • JESUS SPOKE WORDS FROM THE SCRIPTURES – After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:28-30). And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 15:46).
  • JESUS SPOKE WORDS OF TRUST IN GOD – And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (Luke 23:46).

 

CONCLUSION

  • Jesus was delivered to the cross, not from the cross.
  • It was the will of God for Jesus to lay down His life and to take it up again.
  • God did not interpose to rescue Jesus from the agony of the Cross.
  • Jesus was protected from those who wanted to destroy Him until the time came that He should lay down His life (John 7:30).
  • Jesus endured the full weight of grief of the soul who feels abandoned for  He is a High Priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
  • The sense of abandonment experienced by Christ was provisional not relational. God withdraw his protective hand when the time came for Jesus to lay down his life; in this sense he was delivered over to death by God as our sacrifice. Jesus was not relationally separated from God.
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