A Season of Psalms: Psalm 22:1
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
English Standard Version (ESV)
Children are naturally curious. When they don’t understand something, the first question they ask is “Why?” And you know what happens. When they don’t understand your explanation, again they ask “Why?” It’s a vicious cycle that can occur until you come up with a solution that satisfies their questions. But you can’t rest easy, because you know it won’t be long before they’re asking you again!
The Eternal Son had always been the object of His Father’s delight, but now He stands abandoned. The question is “Why?” Why should the holy, sinless Son of God suffer as He did? God is holy, righteous, and just and must punish sin wherever He finds it; to wink at sin or overlook it is contrary to the very nature of God. Although Christ had no sin of His own, He took our sins upon Himself, assuming the responsibility of paying the penalty for all our iniquities.
The debt we owed was charged to His account, and He willingly paid it all.
When we read this psalm and other passages in Scripture of Christ’s great suffering, it should always be with the keen awareness that He bore all of our sins. When we hear Him cry in verse 1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” we know that it was for us, for you.
In her poem “Cowper’s Grave,” the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning are poignant: “It went up single, echoless, ‘My God, I am forsaken!’ It went up from holy lips, amid His lost creation that no believer e’er should use those words of desolation.” Because He was forsaken, we will never be.
Further Reading: Matthew 27: 45-50; Romans 6:1-11
Pray with me:
How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure…It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life. I know that it is finished…Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer, but this I know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom. Thank you, Lord Jesus. In Your name we pray, Amen.