“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Text: Psalm 22

David described one who was suffering and seemed to be forsaken by God, but ultimately God was with him. This psalm prophesied of Jesus (Matthew 27:46). At the same time, this psalm expressed the feelings of David in response to his own situation. In this lesson, we are going to examine this psalm as it relates to Jesus. Like all prophecy, this is meant to establish/strengthen our faith.

Forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1-6)

  • This is the feeling expressed by David – he felt as though he had been forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1-2); he recognized that God was holy (Psalm 22:3); he understood that God helped others who trusted in Him (Psalm 22:4-5); yet he was “a worm and not a man” because he was “a reproach of men and despised by the people” (Psalm 22:6)
  • Was Jesus forsaken by the Father? – many believe He was, especially with His quote while on the cross (Matthew 27:46); yet as we will see, Jesus was not forsaken by the Father; He did not turn His back on Jesus; this is about appearance; it appeared as though Jesus had been forsaken
  • Jesus was “despised by the people” (Psalm 22:6) – rejected and crucified (Matthew 27:20-23); yet this was part of God’s plan (Acts 2:23)

Suffering at the Hand of Evildoers (Psalm 22:7-18)

  • This psalm contains prophecies of specific details surrounding the crucifixion of Christ – He would be mocked (Psalm 22:7-8; cf. Matthew 27:39-43); He would be surrounded by evildoers (Psalm 22:12-13; cf. John 19:1-6); His physical strength would be dried up (Psalm 22:15; cf. John 19:28); His hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16; cf. John 20:25); His garments would be divided (Psalm 22:18; cf. Matthew 27:35)
  • When Jesus quoted the “title” of the psalm, He was directing the witnesses’ minds back to this passage – this should have been a passage they were familiar with (Acts 13:27); those who were honest could have looked back to this psalm and read about what they just witnessed; Jesus deliberately pointed the ones present to this psalm in order to produce faith; the same will happen today

Not Forsaken by God (Psalm 22:19-24)

  • As we continue in this psalm, we can see that the one who appeared to be forsaken by God was not – David again expressed his desire to be saved by the Lord (Psalm 22:19-21); God heard and did not despise him (Psalm 22:24)
  • This is a reason to praise God (Psalm 22:22-24) – because He did not forsake Jesus in His hour of suffering; He will not forsake us either (Lamentations 3:22-23; Hebrews 13:5)

A Message for All People (Psalm 22:25-31)

  • As a result of what happens in this psalm, others would worship and praise the Lord – those who seek the Lord (Psalm 22:26); those of every family and nation (Psalm 22:27); those who are prosperous and those who are poor (Psalm 22:29); those of future generations (Psalm 22:30); those of a people who would be born (Psalm 22:31)
  • This is foretelling those who would serve God in the gospel age – God will reward those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6); the gospel is for everyone of every nation (Mark 16:15); the gospel is for all regardless of social class (Galatians 3:28); the gospel is for all of every generation (Acts 2:38-39); the reward of God is for those who will be born again (John 3:3, 5; 1 Peter 1:23)

Conclusion

  • Jesus’ death on the cross was part of God’s plan – this is why we can read of it in prophecy
  • Psalm 22 is one such prophecy – it is important that we understand what it is teaching
  • Understanding this psalm will help establish and strengthen faith in God as we are called to serve Him

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