My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1 NIV).
We love a God who delivers us from evil or pain. But we cry out to a God who seems far away. The cry of a forsaken one is heard here. Maybe you too have passed through this experience. Where was God then? No easy answers are offered. But then the feeling of being forsaken is very real.
That is the reason why even David, a man after God’s own heart, cried out. Jesus too, the Son of David, cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These two experiences tell us that the feeling of being forsaken comes to the best of men. In Jesus’ case it came because the sin of the entire world was placed on Him; “For he bore the sin of many” (Isaiah 53:12). Yes, He “carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4) and was forsaken. It is unbelievable that Jesus the Son of God, who enjoyed a close walk with God the Father, had to pass through such darkness.
At the same time it is comforting to note that when you cry out to Him, He understands you since He once passed through the agony of being forsaken. Even in this cry of despair there is one thing that needs to be noted. It was addressed to God Himself! And there is in that cry an emphasis of the strength of your relationship with your God. He is still, “My God!” Isn’t He? So crying out to Him is probably the best you can do; whereas trying to find answers to why it has happened to you may possibly take you nowhere. Instead, if you can look to Jesus who went through the agony of being forsaken; it will certainly help.
Another thought here is the prophetic nature of this Psalm. Many things written here about 1000 years before Jesus were fulfilled in His crucifixion. For example this Psalm talks about people mocking and hurling insults saying let God rescue him since he delights in him (v.7, 8). Then it is written that his bones were all out of joint (though not broken) and that he could count all his bones (v.14, 17). Again, it is written that people were staring at him and gloating over him (v.17). It is written that his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth (v.15). Compare that with Jesus’ cry, “I Thirst.” Again, it is written that they divided his garments among them and cast lots for his clothing (v. 18). All these things were fulfilled in Jesus.
And Jesus Himself testified that it is written about Him in the Psalms (Luke 24:44). May God open your heart to see Jesus in this Psalm and also find comfort when you feel forsaken by God.