The Cry of the Forsaken
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Psalm 22:1 and Mark 15:34
One of the last things Jesus said as he hung upon the cross, were the same exact words found in the first verse of Psalm 22. Did Jesus quote this intentionally or was it just a coincidence? Was it a last attempt at teaching the slow-learning disciples why this was happening or was he trying to provide a theological framework that would tie both the old and the new together for future theological thought? Was He really wanting an answer to His question or was He simply delirious from the pain?
No one knows for absolute certain why He cried that out into the gathering darkness. I’ll attempt to provide some thoughts on it in the devotion to follow, however, for now let me share a frightening experience I had a few days ago.
I was on an early morning flight to Boston when suddenly the plane began to nose dive to the earth. I was sitting by a window and watched as we headed nearly straight down to the ground, and I knew that we only had seconds left. I reached for my phone to call my wife and tell her goodbye only to realize that it was in the overhead bin, and there was no time. I closed my eyes, I tensed for the crash and, realizing that I was about to die alone, I cried out in my despair the thing that was most in my heart.
Luke and John both capture in their gospels the prayer Jesus said for those who drove the nails in his hands and feet, the scripture that he quoted, the caring and provision that he made for his mother, the assurance that he gave the thief on the next cross and the incredible last words of Jesus as he surrendered his spirit. Beautiful, poignant, powerful.
Mark, on the other hand, recounts for us the agony, suffering, and horror of His last moments of life and His cry into the darkness acknowledging that He had become the forsaken of God. Terrible, devastating, heart breaking.
What can we say to such love, such valor. That He would face death alone, become our sin, and take onto Himself the judgement of his Father. All that we might be free.
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me
Songwriters: Jeremy Riddle / Josh Farro / Phil Wickham
By Tom Sanco