By Pr Isaiah White
The Bible is theologically and thematically not just a coherent and corresponding book, but also one message in content. God has spoken to past and present generations, and His Word will forever remain alive and active. His word never withers, but speaks to all of us wherever we are. Psalms 22 talks about many things that happened to the Lord Jesus Christ at the Cross as though they were captured at the scene.
Psalms 22 in the New Testament
Psalm 22 contains several prophecies that are fulfilled through the events surrounding the death of Jesus Christ. They include the thirst our Messiah had while on the Cross (Psalm 22:15) which is also recorded in John 19:28. Psalm 22:18 talks of soldiers gambling for His clothing; Mathew 27:35 reports the same. Finally, apart from the loud cry, Jesus speaks about His Father while others are gathered around (Psalm 22:22); the same is recorded in Hebrews 2:12. Thus, we learn that the book of Psalms has the revelation of the events at the Cross even before they happened. This was not a prediction or guesswork, but a divine intention and initiative to alert the world on what was about to happen.
Jesus’ death on the Cross was not a coincidence; it was a divine plan instituted long before even the fall of man. That is why the truth of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ in not limited to the New Testament narrative. The Bible, therefore, disqualifies all other beliefs attempting to treat His death and resurrection as fables. It is a book for all those who have a relationship with the God who was crucified for our faults; the one who died and resurrected in pursuit of sinners. Psalm 22:1 says: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Nailed to the cross, Jesus cried out with these words. About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” translated as: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). This was Jesus’ loud cry at His point of despair as death exercised its best on His flesh. Many of us have, through the troubles of this world, experienced not the same but at least peeped in the pit of death. Jesus’ loud cry has two interesting phrases we can think about during this Easter season: 1) My God, and 2) Why have you forsaken me?
The key word here is ‘my’. Jesus always addressed God in a possessive way. He said ‘My God’, and this wasn’t to claim He owned God like small gods are owned by their worshippers. Instead, Jesus was always demonstrating He belongs to God. To address God as ‘My God’ is to exhibit the actual belonging of the human race. While death was claiming Him, Jesus declared loud whom He belongs to. We don’t belong to our problems and all principalities that sometimes oppress us to submission. Instead, we belong to God. The God of Heaven is our God and we are His by creation and redemption. Always remember to address Yahweh as the God who is your God. God declared in Jeremiah 32:38: “They will be my people and I will be their God.” If the God revealed in the Bible is not your God, then you belong to nothing and own nothing as well in this sinful world.
After God is personalized, in the time of trouble one could wonder why such a bond would be broken. In this question, we see the power and magnitude of both sin and death. When Jesus hung on the Cross, He who knew no sin became sin (2Corinthians 5:21) and his divinity deserted this unrighteousness. That is why Christ at the Cross wondered why His identity left Him. From this, we learn that God does not forsake us because of our sin. Instead, sinning takes us away from the presence of the Lord (Isaiah 59:1-2). Jesus was not a practical sinner like us; He was just a representative sinner. He vicariously took on our identity (sinfulness), but still divinity overpowered such unrighteousness. In case we wanted to know why an omnipresent might forsake us, the answer is simple: sin. God will not stay with an indulgent sinner, but His hands are open to all repentant and believing sinners (John 6:37, Jeremiah 3:12-14). Jesus died for all sinners and only repentant sinners are beneficiaries. Let all sinners cry aloud this Easter for the presence of the Lord in their lives.