My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief. Psalms 22:2-3 NABRE
This psalm begins as a request and a lament by a person in distress, someone we do not know. Individual suffering is described so vividly this could be one of the most powerful prayers of request in the Psalms. The psalm has two main themes; the first lamentation and request to God, asking Him not to be so distant and the second, thanksgiving with a call to others to praise the Lord for having saved this “poor wretch” of a man. The lament begins with a confident cry for help followed by a reminder of what God did for Israel. Even though it may seem like a call to God by someone who has lost hope, we know this is not the case because the one calling out calls, “My God, My God,” indicating there is still much faith in God to help. The psalm begins with sadness and need and finishes rejoicing, turning to God who responds in love. It is a psalm declaring God victorious and as one to trust.
This opening verse is what we hear on the lips of Jesus while he is nailed to the cross dying, “And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:46) Jesus is making this psalm His own, describing His own feelings. While we hear Jesus asking “why have you forsaken me,” we must remember that He is likely calling to mind the entire psalm which ends in trust and praise of God. Those who are nearby likely know the psalm well and understand that Jesus is inserting himself into the psalm as the person in distress who is saved, the person who trust God.
Do you call out and trust God when in distress? Read the entire psalm, can you imagine how the person feels?Jesus is making this psalm His own, describing His own feelings. While asking 'why have you forsaken me,' we must remember that Jesus is likely calling to mind the entire psalm which ends in trust and praise of God. Click To Tweet
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