“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1a, NIV)
Hanging on the cross, dying, Jesus quoted the opening line of Psalm 22. This was no coincidence! Going back to read Psalm 22 is like reading a description of Jesus's crucifixion, written before crucifixion had even been invented, and written hundreds of years before Jesus walked this earth. The Psalm mentions such details as Jesus being scorned and mocked (vv. 6-7), even foretelling what the religious leaders of the day would say as Jesus hung on the cross (v. 8)! It describes how His hands and feet would be pierced (v. 16), and how they would cast lots for his garment (v. 18).
I can't begin to imagine the suffering Jesus experienced as He hung on the cross. As I read Psalm 22, lyrics from an older worship song come to mind: “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” Jesus suffered for me, and as Psalm 22 promises, His suffering was not in vain. The Psalm goes on to say:
“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly...” (Psalm 22:24–25, NIV)
My prayer this week is that we will remember the suffering of the Afflicted One, our Savior, and lift His praise in our lives each day. Thank You, God, for saving me.