Read: Matthew 27:45-50
I remember a nice home visit with a longtime parishioner who was sometimes homebound by her health. She was a woman of deep faith and read in her Bible often. We talked about a number of things, and then the topic of faith came up. She said, “There’s something that has always bothered me, why did God abandon Jesus on the cross. When Jesus says from the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” I am heartbroken.”
She is not the only one perplexed by Jesus’ words; I’ve met others. I’ve found solace in the following answer, she did too.
God didn’t abandon Jesus on the cross! What we need to realize is that Jesus is quoting Psalm 22 – AND for a very good reason! Psalm 22 is a prophetic psalm! And when you know it – as all the Jews watching the crucifixion would have, you realize that Jesus is quote a (hidden) prophecy that describes that scene perfectly!
If I were to say to you: “I pledge allegiance to the …” I wouldn’t have to say another word – you would know that I was reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance – we all know it. From the cross that’s what Jesus is doing – with very little breath – that’s the effect of crucifixion, Jesus is telling everyone that this moment was prophetically ordained centuries ago (and before creation began). The things described by the psalmist are happening at that very moment! Do yourself a favor and open your Bible to Psalm 22 and read it!
v. 1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
v. 7 “All who see me mock me; the hurl insults, …”
v. 14 “My bones are out of joint …”
v. 16 “a band of evil men has encircle me, they have pierced my hands and feet.”
v. 18 “They divide my garments among them, they cast lots for my clothing.”
Read it all! God has not abandoned or forsaken Jesus. The psalm goes on to say just the opposite! It is a psalm of faith in adversity, and the Lord comes through. Psalm 22 concludes with words of praise and adoration, v 30-31, “Posterity will serve him: future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn – for he has done it.”
Yes, He has! And Sunday is coming!
Pastor Rob Nystrom