Psalm 22 is a prophetic picture of the coming suffering Servant, the Messiah, who would suffer a grueling execution and would be forsaken of God so his people would know the Lord’s forgiveness.
I believe this to be one of the most important Psalms in the Bible for us to study. Due to the length of this Psalm, I have divided it into sections, so there will be more than one blog post of this significant Psalm. The topics are as followed:
- Christ’s Separation From God
- Christ’s Strength From God
- Christ’s Scorn From God
- Christ’s Submission To God
- Christ’s Suffering From God
- Christ’s Supplication To God
- Christ’s Salvation For God
Christ’s Separation From God
God was distant from Jesus as he hung on the cross and did not answer his plea, yet he trusted God for his deliverance.
My God! My God!
Why have you abandoned me?
Why so far from helping me, so far from my anguished cries? (Psalm 22:1 CJB)
The psalm begins with a poignant rhetorical question that is meant to show the rejection and abandonment suffered by the Son:
“My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?”
Also, this was the fourth saying of Jesus uttered on the cross. It was the first statement spoken under the shroud of darkness. The intimate call by the Son was like the cry of a lost child searching for the father whose face he longed to see again.
The absence of the words “my Father” and the use of the words “my God” in their stead indicate a breach in the relationship within the Godhead. Three statements in which the suffering one asks follow this,
“Why have you abandoned me?”
These were the exact words of Christ as quoted in the ninth hour of the day (3:00 p.m.) at the end of the three-hour period of darkness.
At about three, Yeshua uttered a loud cry, “Eli! Eli! L’mah sh’vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?)” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34 CJB)
This feeling of abandonment went further because the psalmist continued, “Why so far from helping me?” God purposely distanced himself from Jesus as he poured out his wrath on the sin-bearer (Isa. 53:10) of his people.
The Son cried out in desperation, “Why have you turned your back on me in the hour of my greatest need?” The withdrawal was followed by God’s refusal to listen to the Son’s plea, “Why are you so far from my anguished cries?”
No answer came because it was God himself who poured out his wrath on his suffering servant under the veil of darkness. The holiness of God forbade him from intervening in the death of Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah, since he became sin on behalf of his people.
In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God.
But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises we are healed.
We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned; each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us. (Isaiah 53:4-6 CJB)
God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness. (2 Cor. 5:21 CJB)
This separation was the greatest hell known by Christ – to be utterly rejected by the Father with whom he enjoyed unhindered, intimate fellowship throughout eternity. Furthermore, Jesus absorbed God’s wrath for the sins of many.
Crying To God
My God, by day I call to you, but you don’t answer; likewise at night, but I get no relief. (Psalm 22:2 CJB)
This rejection came from one who was not detached from God. And this is evident in the words, “My God, by day I call to you, but you don’t answer.” The desired answer did not come by day. And this is a reference to the first three hours of the crucifixion of Jesus. As Jesus hung on the cross at night, he was not silent, yet he still failed to receive a response. The silence of heaven was an experience that Jesus had never known.
Had I cherished evil thoughts, Adonai (the Lord) would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18 CJB)
The final three hours of darkness that veiled the earth (noon to 3:00 p.m. before the death of Jesus is surely the night to which the psalmist referred.
From noon until three o’clock in the afternoon, all the Land was covered with darkness. (Matthew 27:45 CJB)
I hope you have enjoyed today’s study Of Psalm 22:1-2 and really take it to heart what our Lord Jesus Christ has done and the sacrifice he has made for us. I pray that you would not abuse the grace we have been given but that you would surrender your whole life to Christ. The greatest love and worship that we could give our Father in heaven is obedience to His Word.