Lent Reading Psalm 22:22-31
“My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” You may know these aching words from Jesus’ cry on the cross. The original audience heard this as the opening line of Psalm 22. By quoting this Psalm, we are given insight into Jesus’ physical and spiritual battle. The Psalm is a lament from a man attacked by others, in physical distress, waiting for God’s deliverance. As a result, this man experiences what many feel in times of deep suffering, God as profoundly distant.
Our reading from Psalm 22:22-31 follows the first nineteen verses of struggle. They are words of hope. Even while feeling abandoned, the Psalmist reminds himself and the listener, God does not forsake afflicted people:
“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.Psalm 22:24
He knows this from Israel’s past, and he holds on to it for the future. This hope incredibly pulls him from his suffering now into worship. Jesus’ cry on the cross identifies with the distress of Psalm 22, and the hope. Jesus’ did not die in despair. As Hebrews states regarding Jesus:
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.Hebrews 12:2
Tough, bitter times may come your way. You and I are not exempt from such challenges. Psalm 22 and our Lord Jesus lead us in how to respond: hold your ultimate hope in God’s faithfulness, and this faith can carry you from forsakenness, even to worship.