Thanks to Hannah for today’s notes.
Today’s passage is Psalm 22:1-18. Some of you will know my sister Rachel, she’s six years older than me and I looked up to her a lot growing up (still do!). Rachel has been writing songs for as long as I can remember and she wrote one based on this Psalm when I was about 12. I remember loving it. If I’m honest I mainly loved the tune, for the last few months though I haven’t been able to get it out of my head – maybe God was pointing me to this!
This Psalm is one of the most well-known ones because it is full of prophecy referring to the cross. We see here the true brutality that won our salvation. All who saw him mocked him, hurled insults and shook their heads. Jesus was alone and abandoned by all of his friends and followers. Where the gospels simply say “they crucified him”, these verses provide a deeper insight into the suffering of our Saviour. Just to dwell on some of these verses is truly heart-breaking, his heart was like wax, his bones were out of joint, and his mouth was dry. The Lord who created the world, the Messiah who healed the sick, the miracle maker who fed the 5,000 was humbled on a cross and knew what it was to thirst. The God of all Glory watched them cast lots for his clothes. It’s harrowing.
The biggest hit, in my opinion, comes in the very first two verses “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” I don’t want to get into a debate about whether God was there with Jesus or not, I’ll leave that to the intellectuals. The important thing is that Jesus felt isolated.
God’s perfect son hung on a cross, humiliated, hurting and alone. God, in his glory saw Jesus and chose to save us. Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t just a gory tale of Roman ruthlessness, it’s the story of our salvation. God saw me, in my mess, my mountain of mistakes, my denial and my secrets and loved me enough to let his son (who was perfect and holy and righteous) pay my price. Amazing. Jesus who was in constant fellowship with his father in heaven, came to earth and suffered for me, for you. God knew what was going to happen when he created Adam and Eve but he saw you, he saw me and thought it was worth it. However horrendous his suffering was, it was easier to bear than the thought of you being lost for all eternity. Again, it’s amazing.
Max Lucado is far more adept than me, he writes:
“Your silent prayers uttered on tear-stained pillows were heard before they were said. Your deepest questions about death and eternity were answered before they were asked. And your direst need, your need for a Saviour, was met before you ever sinned. And not only did He hear you, He saw you. He saw your face aglow the hour you first knew Him. He saw your face in shame the hour you first fell. The same face that looked back at you from this morning’s mirror, looked at Him. And it was enough to kill Him.”