JESUS FORSAKEN AT CALVARY

Psalm 22 - A Picture of Crucifixion

Written by David, the 22nd Psalm undoubtedly describes a horrible time of suffering in his life.  God allowed David to go through that time of suffering and gave him inspired words to describe it.  Like most prophecy it was the Holy Spirit within testifying "...Beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."  (1st Peter 1:11).  The 22nd Psalm describes an innocent victim experiencing death by the cruel agonies of crucifixion.  This is remarkable in that
     1.  The standard practice by which Israel carried out the death sentence was by stoning.
     2.  The people of Israel were not even familiar with crucifixion until some 400 years after the 22nd Psalm was written when they were dispersed among other nations.  Ponder these verses quoted in the gospels:
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Verse 1 quoted by Jesus on the cross in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. 
"O My God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not hear; And in the night season..."  Verse 2, A Biblical "day" was from 6:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.  Jesus was crucified at 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25)  From 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. "...There was darkness over all the land."  (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33).
"All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 'He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him."  The fulfillment of these words is recorded in Matthew 27:39:44.
"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax:  It has melted within Me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd (broken piece of a clay pot), And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death."  (Verses 14, 15).  This is a vivid description of the sufferings 3experienced during crucifixion. (See John 19:28)..
"...They pierced My hands and My feet."  A description of the hands and feet of Jesus being nailed to the cross.  Luke gave this description:  "And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him..." (Luke 23:33).
"They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots."    Matthew records, "Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet."  ---and then quotes Psalm 22:17.  (Matthew 27:35).

It is only from the 22nd Psalm that we learn the inward thoughts and feelings of Jesus while He suffered on the cross.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN IN HIS SUFFERING.
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"

Hebrew scholars tell us that in the Hebrew language there is not one complete sentence in verse one. . .indicating that these were the gasps of a man dying in unspeakable agony.  These are also the words of an abandoned child, left alone and deserted by His Father.  This surely reveals something of what is experienced by those receiving the punishment of God's perfect law for their sin.  Most important of all, it reveals to us that God, the Son, was forsaken by God, the Father, when He received the punishment for our sins on the cross.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN AND UNANSWERED.
"
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear ; And in the night season, and am not silent."  Vs 2.  Jesus cried out to His Father during three hours of light and three hours of darkness and received no answer.  Even so, He prayed on.  What an example to us when we are desperately knocking at heaven's door for the help only God can give and it seems no answer comes.  Let us take courage from Jesus that we are knocking at the right door and God's answer will come at the right time.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN BUT TRUSTING.  
He acknowledged the holiness of God. "But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel."  Jesus knew that in drinking the bitter cup set before Him that He was made "To be sin for us."  (2nd Corinthians 5:21).  He also knew that He was suffering "once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit."  (1st Peter 3:18). 

Jesus recalled that the fathers of Israel were delivered when they trusted verses 4, 5).  Many times they suffered as a consequence of their own sin and yet, they were delivered by God when they repented and trusted.  How much more will the heavenly Father deliver His Son Who is suffering for the sins of the others and continues His trust through all the suffering.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN AND HURTING.

HE FELT A SENSE OF UNWORTHINESS.  "BI am a worm, and no man."   (Verse 6).  This is a feeling of worthlessness and contempt in the eyes of others.  It tells us the depth to which Jesus descended in providing redemption for mankind.  (See Philippians 2:6-8).

HE KEENLY FELT THE HURT OF INSULT AND SCORN.  "All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 'He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him.'"  (Verses 7, 8).  Matthew 27:39-44 records how the haters of Jesus fulfilled this ridicule.

HIS THOUGHTS FLASHED BACK TO HIS HUMAN BIRTH.  "But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts.  I was cast upon You from birth.  From My mother's womb You have been My God."  (Verses 9, 10).  Every other descendant of Adam and Eve could only make God "their God" through repentance and faith.  Jesus was the unique Son of God from the instant of His conception in Mary's womb by the Holy Spirit.  This remembrance must have given Jesus great strength during the worst of His suffering.

HE WAS APPALLED AT THE VICIOUS COUNTENANCE OF HIS TORMENTORS.
"Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.  They gape at Me with their mouth, like a raging and roaring lion."  (Verses 11-13).  We are informed in Hebrews 12:3 that one of the bitterest elements in the suffering of our Redeemer was that He " Endured such hostility from sinners against Himself..."

HE FELT ALL THE PAIN OF INTENSE PHYSICAL SUFFERING.
"I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax;  It has melted within Me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws;  You have brought Me to the dust of death."  (Verses 14, 15).  Jesus felt His physical life being poured out like water on the ground where it is dissolved.  He felt His bones "out of joint" after being nailed to the cross and being dropped into a deep hole.  The jolt would result in bones being pulled from their joints.  He felt His heart melting within Him.  John 19:34 indicates that the lymphatic fluid (water) separated from the red blood.  He felt His strength dried up like a clay pot placed in a kiln of fire where all moisture was dried up.  His tongue stuck to His jaws when it became sticky from fever and dehydration.  He was very much aware that although men were the agents of His execution His heavenly Father had "brought Him to the dust of death."  God had revealed through the prophet Isaiah that He would be "Smitten by God...";  have "the iniquity of us all. . .laid on Him"  and that ". . .It pleased the LORD to bruise Him. . .and put Him to grief when He made His soul an offering for sin."  (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 10).

HE FELT THE PAIN OF BEING A SPECTACLE OF CONTEMPT.
"For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me."  (Verse 16a).  Those who were known among men as "the congregation of the righteous" because of their outward behavior were revealed to be "dogs" and "the congregation of the wicked" when they were given opportunity to express their true feelings about God.
"They pierced My hands and My feet". (Verse 16b).  This is an unmistakable reference to crucifixion the cruelest form of the death penalty conceived by man.
"I can count all My bones.  They look and stare at Me." 
(Verse 17).  A victim of crucifixion was only supported at his wrists and feet which were nailed to the cross.  When his wrists could no longer bear the pain and the ability to breathe nearly gone he would pull himself up to be mainly supported by the nails in his wrists.  This made Jesus keenly aware of the bones of His body.  As this ordeal continued to be repeated He observed that the tormentors stared at His throes of agony.
"They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots"  (Verse 18).  The apostles Matthew and John quote this verse as having its fulfillment in Christ when He was crucified (Matthew 27:35); John 19:23, 24).  It was the final indignity His tormentors could bestow upon Him.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN YET PLEADING FOR HELP.

HE CONFIDENTLY DECLARES HE WILL LEAD PRAISE TO THE FATHER.
"I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.  You who fear the LORD, praise Him!  All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!"  (Verses 22, 23).

HE CONFIDENTLY STATES THE REASON FOR THE FUTURE PRAISE.
"For He (God, the Father) has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted (Jesus, the Son); Nor has He (the Father) hidden His face from Him (the Son); But when He (the Son) cried to Him (the Father), He heard."   From the early years of my ministry I heard many godly preachers say that when Jesus became sin for sinners God hid His face from Him.  I probably repeated that several times.  However, when the Holy Spirit made Psalm 22:24 clear to me I never said it again.  God, the Father, forsook His Son while the condemnation of His perfect law fell on Him for our sins but He did not hide His face from Him.  He looked on in love and compassion.
"My praise shall be of You in the great assembly..."  (Verses 25, 26).  It is not difficult to realize that in these words Jesus expressed confidence that God would preserve His spirit; resurrect His body; give Him an ascension to the Father's right hand; anoint Him as High Priest forever and guarantee His future reign as King of kings and LORD of lords.

JESUS WAS FORSAKEN FOR HOURS BUT WILL REIGN FOR ETERNITY.

PEOPLE FROM ALL NATIONS WILL BE REDEEMED AS A RESULT OF THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS FOR THEIR SINS.
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You."  (Verse 2).  Gentiles from every nation as well as people of Israel will hear that Jesus died for their sins and turn to Him for their salvation.  We have seen this already and will see it in even greater ways.  God is empowering the story of the sacrifice of Jesus in unique ways to reach the people of every nation more rapidly than at any other time in history.  Hundreds of millions have heard and turned to Christ.  Even more shall do so.

JESUS WILL REIGN OVER ALL THE NATIONS.
"For the kingdom is the LORD'S, and He rules over the nations."  (Verse 28).  Jesus rules in the hearts of those who receive Him by faith to be Savior and LORD.  He will reign literally for a thousand years on this earth and for all eternity in the New Heavens and New Earth.

The last two verses tell how there will be those down through the centuries sharing with others that Jesus died for their sins on the cross.  That is what I have tried to do in this message.  My prayer is that if you have not accepted what Jesus did for you and trusted Him to be your Savior that you will do so right now.

 

 

 

Copyright 2002 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted

 

    Copyright 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.