Psalm 22 … Consider Him Who Was Forsaken by God

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest,

Psalm 22 is a prophetic or Messianic Psalm, one that foretold of the coming Messiah; and Psalm 22 specifically foreshadowed the passion of Christ, the events surrounding His crucifixion. David’s use of hyperbole to describe his own anguish points directly to the cross of Christ. I’ve often wondered, as David penned his songs, if he realized his prayers were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God, (2 Peter 1:20-21).

I read somewhere that before the Psalms were numbered, they were referred to by their first line; so when Jesus spoke the first line of this Psalm from the cross, it is plausible that He was drawing His listeners, many who were Rabbis and well-acquainted with the Law and the Prophets, to consider the entire Psalm.

Much of what we read in this Psalm is detailed in the Gospel accounts at the scene of the cross.

Psalm 22 summons us to consider the Passion of the Christ. I readily admit, it’s a challenge for me. I have never been able to bring myself to watch the film of that same title. I can’t watch war films or historical movies depicting tremendous suffering and degradation. I cringe easily. I have to look away when my own blood is drawn. I’m reminded of the evening when my husband was not yet home from church, and my then three-year-old daughter fell and cracked open her forehead. Blood was gushing and, in my panic, I called my next-door neighbor who was at my door in 60 seconds to take over. I am definitely not the person that someone wants by their side in a crisis situation that involves trauma, wounds, pain or suffering.

Reading this Psalm, along with several other passages describing His crucifixion and death, is no easy task. In all truth, I was  tempted to ask you to please, just meet me back here tomorrow. But as Psalm 22 continues, we also hear of faith that anticipates the coming deliverance, not only for David, but for all who would turn to the Lord in humility and faith.

So, while this Psalm may be unbearable to our senses, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Him increase, even during the hours of His greatest anguish; for truly God has given us much to ponder as we consider Him Who Was Forsaken by God.

Consider Him Who Was Forsaken by God

As we consider Him in this Messianic Psalm, it seems fitting that we also look to correlating passages that speak specifically about Him Who Was Forsaken by God, Jesus, the Messiah.

  • He Was Forsaken by God, yet He still cried out to His God.
    • My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
      Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning,

      • 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 27:46).
  • He Was Forsaken by God, though He cried out again and again.
    • O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
      And by night, but I have no rest,

      • He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more, (Matthew 26:42-44).
  • He Was Forsaken by God, the Holy One.
    • Yet You are holy,
      O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel,

      • Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
        And You can not look on wickedness with favor,
        (Habakkuk 1:13).
      • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; but remained convinced of the faithfulness of His God.
    • In You our fathers trusted;
      They trusted and You delivered them.
      To You they cried out and were delivered;
      In You they trusted and were not disappointed,

      • Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; despised and mocked by men.
    • But I am a worm and not a man,
      A reproach of men and despised by the people.
      All who see me sneer at me;
      They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
      “Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
      Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him,”

      • Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. 32 Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him, (Mark 15:29-32).
  • He Was Forsaken by God, though He was God’s from the womb.
    • Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
      You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
      10 Upon You I was cast from birth;
      You have been my God from my mother’s womb,

      • “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…” (Luke 1:31-32).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; and there was none to help.
    • Be not far from me, for trouble is near;
      For there is none to help,

      • They laid hands on Him and seized Him… 50 And they all left Him and fled, (Mark 14:46, 50).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; in excruciating anguish.
    • I am poured out like water,
      And all my bones are out of joint;
      My heart is like wax;
      It is melted within me,

      • And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground, (Luke 22:44).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; left weak and thirsty.
    • My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
      And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
      And You lay me in the dust of death,

      • After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty,” (John 19:28).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; at the mercy of evildoers.
    • For dogs have surrounded me;
      A band of evildoers has encompassed me;

      • As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him… (Matthew 20:18-19).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; pierced yet His bones unbroken.
    • They pierced my hands and my feet.
      17 I can count all my bones.
      They look, they stare at me;

      • There they crucified Him [nailed to a cross]… 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out, (John 19:18-33-34).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; His clothing gambled away.
    • They divide my garments among them,
      And for my clothing they cast lots,

      • Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots,” (John 19:23-24).
  • He Was Forsaken by God; but entrusted Himself to Him Who Is Righteous.
    • But You, O Lord, be not far off;
      O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
      20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
      My only life from the power of the dog.
      21 Save me from the lion’s mouth;
      From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me,

      • and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; (1 Peter 2:23).

How do we respond to Him Who Was Forsaken by God?

Spending time pondering all He endured, for us; how He humbled Himself, for us; how He suffered, bled and died, for us; how He Was Forsaken by God, for us… it really is too much to comprehend. But it will surely elicit a vast array of feelings and emotions:

A feeling of profound grief as we consider Him Who Was Forsaken by God, Him Who is perfect in holiness and endured such suffering and pain, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, for us. And yet, in His suffering we are healed.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:5-6).

A feeling of complete brokenness. It makes perfect sense for Jesus to cry out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” He lived a sinless life. But, we on the other hand, well… and He knows everything about us. Every thought and word we utter, every act we commit, or act we wish we could. The question we should be moved to ask is, “My God, my God, why have You saved me?” But it is in that very place, that place of brokenness over our sin, that He is near us.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit,
(Psalm 34:18).

A feeling of awe and wonder. How can we ever get over it? What it cost Him; how much He went through, for us to be reconciled and have peace with God.

and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; (Colossians 1:20).

A feeling of overwhelming gratitude, for we have been given every spiritual blessing, in Christ, because He Was Forsaken by God.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, (Ephesians 1:3-4).

And an unquenchable desire to share with others all that we have in Him Who Was Forsaken By God; not because we have to, but because how can we possibly keep such Good News to ourselves?

I will tell of Your name to my brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You,

Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! (1 Corinthians 9:16 NLT).

Think about our response after reading a really great book or seeing an absolutely phenomenal movie. We tell everybody we can. And those things are temporal and soon forgotten. We have lifesaving-for-all-of-eternity news to share. Oh, that we would humble our entire lives under the Lordship of Christ, to become so devoted to Him Who Was Forsaken By God, for us, that it would cause a curiosity in others. And let us ask God to enable us to always be ready to share the hope we have in Him.

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence, (1 Peter 3:15).

It’s been said that Christianity is just one generation away from extinction. But if we live each day mindful, humble and grateful for Him Who Was Forsaken By God, we can be an influence on future generations who will also surrender and come to Jesus, the Messiah, and declare the righteousness of Him Who Was Forsaken By God.

Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
31 They will come and will declare His righteousness
To a people who will be born, that He has performed it,

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply