In prayer this morning the question came to me, “Why did Jesus cry out?”
We all remember the famous words of Jesus in Mark 15:34 KJV, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
We have heard, “Oh God can’t look upon sin!” which is not in the scriptures. It is true that God can and does at times hide His face from us, which is different.
Recently in a Passover Shabbat study I attend, Psalms 22 came to my attention. It is one of many Old Testament verses quoted by Jesus during His life.
Psalm 22:1 (NASB) “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.”
It seemed to me that Jesus had something else in mind when He cried out, quoting this verse.
John 8:28 (NASB) “So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”
Jesus goes on to say in (John 8:29 (NASB) “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
Now maybe you can see what I am seeing. Jesus just spoke of being crucified and then about NOT being left alone, or forsaken.
Can we allow our mind to venture out a little? Jesus was also called the Son of David. See Matthew 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 21:9, and Luke 1:32 where the prophesy of the Messiah is spoken.
Why would it be so far fetched that Jesus would cry out His (other) Fathers words as spoken in Psalms 22? They were inspired also yes? What would He mean by doing so? Might He be pointing to something other than what we have thought for so long?
Jesus knew this song of David. David was a man after God’s own heart. Wasn’t Jesus also? When David wrote this Psalm he was in distress. The Psalm was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
We can accept the idea that as the Son of God and the Son of Man, Jesus has two fathers he can follow even as we often follow the honorable aspects (and dishonorable aspects because we judged) of our earthly fathers while our heavenly Father is attempting to bless the good we have learned as He tries to get us to renounce the bad, and does this all at the same time!
David cries out in apparent desertion in PS 22:1-2 and yet in the next verse, ”But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.” Yes David, God is sovereign in the universe no matter what we are experiencing. Now God, as the Son of God is experiencing distress as David did.
Is Jesus quoting Psalm 22, reminding those nearby of the prophesy, knowing they have memorized it also, and sung it themselves? Maybe over the next three days they will ask their Rabbi to read it to them?
Hanging there, is Jesus saying to them as they watch and to us, “I know what this looks like but God is Holy! I am not forsaken any more than David was! I trust the Almighty Father!” In light of Psalm 22 and the hind sight of the resurrection, this is huge! It was His intention, I believe, to clarify the event as divine!
And then we might not wonder any longer what Jesus thought. He knew the Word, “…be Thou not far off…” in Psalm 22:19. How can we think Jesus was actually forsaken or if He even thought He was?
And again in Psalm 22:24 (KJV) “For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, He heard.” Surely here of all places, Jesus is afflicted. Then God did not hide His face from Jesus! Let us put to death the idea that God was not looking or does not look upon sin. It is an affront to His Holy Omniscience and love for us.
On the contrary whatever Jesus is experiencing, feeling, thinking, HE KNOWS, and we should know, “…neither hath He hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, He heard.”
Why did Jesus cry out? Not because He was forsaken but to claim He was NOT forsaken!
Jesus was not forsaken and we are not either! You may have already felt that but now you know better for sure.
We are not alone when we cry out to God, Jesus within cries out with us.”
If we remain in His grip, how far from His heart can we be!”
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