On the cross, Jesus asks the rhetorical question “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46)
This question is also the opening line to Psalm 22, a hugely prophetic psalm that foretells a number of aspects of Christ’s death including:
- He would be surrounded by evil men
- They would be mocking Him
- They would be casting lots for His clothes
- That they would pierce His hands and His feet
- That He would be able to count His bones and that they would be out of joint
For any Jew who was a worshipper of God who knew Psalm 22, the utterance of the opening lines of the psalm by Jesus would have been familiar and jarring. As the rest of the psalm was explored, the words and verses would form a striking correlation with the crucifixion of Christ that was witnessed. The Psalm would no longer be a peculiar outlier in the song book but would become a blazing testimony of the foreordained sacrifice of Christ on the cross – the ultimate demonstration of God’s love.
Jesus used the lyrics of a song while in the midst of excruciating pain to show that He was born for this very purpose with the current event itself being described in detail generations earlier through King David. Jesus connected the dots. He linked a prophetic Psalm of David with its fulfilment in His death and suffering on the cross. God demonstrates His supremacy by taking the most vicious and personal attack that the enemy could muster and not only turns it around to be the centre piece of His eternal plan of redemption for mankind, but also foretells the details of the event further demonstrating His Divine sovereignty over all.
God knows the details of even the most testing seasons of our lives, but we can take comfort that He also know the details of our redemption, of our victory, of our resurrection in every situation. While Jesus suffered and died, we also know He overcame death and rose from the grave according to God’s foreknowledge and plan. Likewise, even in the midst of our own personal challenges we can endure knowing that God has not been caught off guard by our current situation but has a plan that sees us not only endure but ultimately overcome – even if the challenge appears to be death. And not only this, but the testimony of our victory can also become a source of hope for others when we share how our trust in Jesus led us through our own unique challenges of life.
Finally, a song that captures the essence of this truth, “The Cross has the Final Word” by Cody Carnes