Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

The Psalm On The Cross

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief….Do not stay so far from me,  for trouble is near, and no one else can help me.” – Psalm 22:1-2, 11. 

The Psalms are must reading for the Christian. Psalm after psalm we see the writers just pour their hearts out to the Lord. No matter what their emotions and attitudes were, they approached their God with their concerns. We see psalms of praise glorifying the Lord for who He is and what He has done for His people, but we also see psalms with emotions and attitudes quite different from the psalms of praise; psalms of lament. In these psalms, we see some of the darkest moments of the psalmist’s lives, where they were the most troubled.

Psalm 22: in many ways this is the most amazing of all the psalms. In it, we have a picture of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus painted by the psalmist David one thousand years before Jesus Christ was born. When Jesus was hanging on the cross in utter physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual torment, what Scripture did He recite? Psalm 22:1. “…My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46) We see the scene of the crucifixion especially clearly in the words, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.” (vs. 16–18).

In all probability, you will never hang from a Roman cross while being beaten, tortured, and mocked. And you will never have the weight of the world’s sin on your shoulders. But you will face difficult times and trying circumstances. You will feel and face despair. You will wonder where God went. We need to remember that Jesus experienced what we are experiencing, and more. We need to know our circumstances, as bad as they may be, are not the exception that God hasn’t seen before. We need to know we can, and must, run to God during these times.

The psalmist is in a sorry state (Psalm 22:6-8) and it is prayer for God to intervene (Psalm 22:9-13), with the psalmist admitting he is at the end of his rope. (Psalm 22:14-18) His prayer turns to worship and resting in God’s promises (Psalm 22:22-31). 

Jesus turns to Psalm 22 in His moment of utter agony. It’s a psalm that doesn’t deny the agony. It doesn’t sugarcoat it but instead addresses it head-on.  The good news is that the pain doesn’t win. Pain is part of the journey, but the victory is God’s. There is a power and a love beyond the agony, more powerful than the agony.

We need to see Psalm 22 as a pattern for the church and for the individual Christian. The pattern is this: The real and inescapable problems of life in this fallen world should lead us to prayer. Prayer should lead us to remember and meditate on the promises of God, both those fulfilled in the past and those that we trust will be fulfilled in the future.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Psalm 22 ends remarkably differently than it began. What details in verses 25-31 seem to contrast with the first half of the psalm?
  2. Why do you think the follower of God can experience such extremes of faith and emotion during their life?