My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Psalm 22:1a
In many ways this is the most amazing of all the psalms. In it we have a picture of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus painted by the psalmist David one thousand years before Jesus Christ was born. It constitutes one of the most amazing predictions of all time.
At least nine specific events or aspects of the crucifixion are described here in minute detail. All of them were fulfilled during the six hours in which Jesus hung upon the cross. Moreover, the latter part of the psalm clearly depicts the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The probability that the predictions of these nine events would be fulfilled by chance in one person, on one afternoon is inconceivably small. The chance that all this could occur by accident is beyond any realm of possibility our minds could imagine. Yet all was fulfilled as predicted in this amazing psalm.
It is common knowledge that on November 22, 1963, President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, while riding down a Dallas street in a car. Suppose there had been in existence a document that predicted this event, and we knew it had been written in AD 963. That was about the time of the height of the Byzantine Empire, when most of the Western world was ruled from Constantinople, much of Europe was only sparsely inhabited by barbarian tribes, and America was not yet discovered.
Suppose that a document had been prepared in that ancient day that predicted that a time would come when a man of great prominence, head of a great nation, would be riding down a street of a large city in a metal chariot not drawn by horses and would suddenly and violently die as a little piece of metal hurled from a weapon made of wood and iron penetrated his brain. This weapon would be aimed at him from the window of a tall building, and his death would have worldwide effect and cause worldwide mourning. You can imagine with what awe such a document would be viewed today. Such a prediction would be similar to what we have in Psalm 22. That hypothetical prediction would have been made even before the invention of the automobile or firearms and five hundred years before the discovery of America. It would be regarded as fantastically accurate. Yet we have that very sort of thing in this psalm.
The psalm has two major divisions. The first twenty-one verses recount for us the torments of an unknown sufferer who is entirely alone and is crying out to God in His agony. Many scholars assert that these first twenty-one verses represent the thoughts that went through the mind of the Savior as He hung upon the cross and suffered there. From verse twenty-two to the end the sufferer is no longer alone but is in the midst of a large company and is praising God and shouting in victory. It ends with His claiming the worship of the entire world.
Lord Jesus, it is unfathomable to me what You endured on the cross. Thank You for Your willingness to suffer and die. I worship you as my Savior and Lord.
When Jesus became sin for us He endured unthinkable separation from the Father fulfilling amazing prophecy. What implication does that have for us today?