Psalm 22:1
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?”

Although David wrote this Psalm as an expression of the experiences he was facing, it has a much bigger application than he ever could have conceived. It was on the cross that Jesus uttered the opening words to this great Psalm.
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Mark 15:34

In order to speak from the cross, Jesus would have to endure unimaginable pain. He would have to straighten Himself up by pressing against the nail driven through His feet, and breathe in deeply to force any words out. When His silence was broken by these words, His followers would have been immediately drawn to the words of Psalm 22. After watching the crucifixion, there could be no other conclusion; David was speaking prophetically of Christ.

This Psalm, written almost one thousand years before Christ, gives a vivid picture of the events of that dark Friday. David speaks in advance of the ridicule that Jesus would endure. We know that the religious leaders, the crowd, the soldiers and even the thieves all mocked Jesus; calling for Him to prove that He was God and break free from the cross. David also describes the way Christ died with amazing detail. He speaks of His tongue clinging to His mouth in thirst, His hands and feet being pierced, His bones being unbroken, yet out of joint, and his heart melting like water within Him. This Psalm gives undeniable proof of the inspiration of the Word of God, and of the claims of Christ.

That being true, the cry of Christ from the cross does more than draw our attention to the prophetic words of David. It also reveals something of the suffering Jesus endured on the cross. While on the cross, Jesus was giving His life as a substitute for ours. He was bearing the penalty of our sin, so we would not have to. Paul put it like this;

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

The penalty for sin is separation from God. While on the cross, bearing our sin, Jesus experienced sin’s penalty. His cry was not mere poetry, but the expression of what He must endure to save us. Our experiences allow us to understand the weight of sin to a small degree. We have all felt the heavy burden of committing sin, and knowing what it has done to our relationship with God, and with others. We can never imagine the weight of all the sin of humanity. Every vile thought, word, and action ever committed by every man,woman, and child who ever lived, bore down upon our Savior as He hung upon the cross, paying for our sin. And we read that the Father forsook His Son.

All this was done, Christ was forsaken, so that we would never be forsaken. Because of His substitutionary death, the writer of Hebrews was able to declare,

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

What love…

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 22

This is what is referred to as a Messianic Psalm. It has a meaning in the life of the psalmist but also points prophetically to Christ.

  1. Verse 1 is spoken by Jesus from the cross. What is significant about Jesus speaking of being forsaken?
  2. What do you learn about the value of trusting the Lord from verses 4-5?
  3. How were verses 6-8 fulfilled in the crucifixion?
  4. How were verse 14-18 fulfilled in the crucifixion?
  5. How does the cross make verses 27-31 possible?




Zechariah 12:10
“They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1263.jpgZechariah wrote over 400 years before Christ, and yet, he refers to the cross.

In John 19:36-37 we read, “For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced.’”

David also spoke of the cross in Psalm 22:14-18, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. 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.”

And as Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Encouragement and hope are the underlying themes of the prophecies of Zechariah. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem, they faced the ruins of what had once been a splendid city and glorious Temple. There was much to be sad about, but Zechariah encouraged them with visions of judgment on Israel’s enemies, and of the complete restoration of the city of Jerusalem. Yet, the most thrilling vision of all, was the prediction of a coming King – the Messiah who would bring eternal salvation and the promised eternal kingdom. The complete restoration of God’s people would occur in the redeeming and delivering work of the coming Messiah.

No matter what difficulties you are facing today, you have hope because of what Jesus has done for you. The cross not only fulfills a host of prophecies, but proves once and for all, the great love of God. Take some time to reflect upon the work of Christ on the cross. Leave your past and your sins at the cross, and follow after Jesus with each step of your life.

Pastor Jim