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....
|"King David In Prayer" By Pieter De Grebber|
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him....”
I am poured out like water
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce[e] my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment....
When you first read this passage, you may think you are reading from Matthew or Mark's account of Jesus's anguished cry from the Cross. But this is actually a passage from Psalm 22, and was written by King David as he cried out to God. And I can honestly say that there are times I identify with David's heartache and distress.
The Biblical aspect of this passage is that Jesus cried out, repeating a verse of Scripture that the Jews would have known well. After all, they were waiting for the Son of David, their Messiah, to come deliver them from Roman oppression. They knew this Psalm, written by King David, and if they had just focused on the image it portrayed, they would have recognized their Messiah. But they missed the clues that Jesus was leaving them.
First of all, he said the very words that David uttered, when he cried out to God to deliver him from his enemies. Jesus was right in front of them as the fulfillment of that deliverance. He was who David had cried out for! Scorned by everyone; mocked, insulted; all his bones out of joint; his mouth dry and his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth; his hands and feet pierced; people staring and gloating; the casting of lots for his garment.... all the images of the godly sufferer so well-illustrated in Psalm 22. They couldn't see that Jesus was taking on the suffering of all mankind.
So what significance does this have for me? While I identify with David, often crying out to God to deliver me from the enemies of America (both within and without); I also identify with the crowds that showed up at the crucifixion. How many times do I not see Jesus in my own circumstances?
How many times do I not remember the things about Him that I know so well? All the times He DID bless me, and intercede on my behalf; the times my prayers were answered when all hope seemed lost? Like David, my soul cries out to a God I know exists. I have that same personal relationship with Him that David enjoyed. I know He is my Strength, and my Rescuer.
So I must not allow myself to forget who He is. I will not be like those at the Cross, who lost sight and refused to trust in Him. I will take up my cross and follow Him, never doubting that He is my Deliverer. And as King David proclaimed at the end of Psalm 22, so will I make known: future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!