If there ever were justification for crying out to God, it is found in these first two verses of Psalm 22. Quoted by Jesus on the cross, it is a declaration of abandonment. Mark 15:34 captures the moment when Jesus cried out: “At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabaktanei?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my help are the words of my groaning. My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.” Psalm 22:1-2
For your own sake, do not miss this declaration. Jesus—God in the flesh—is experiencing the effects of the world’s sin and brokenness. Granted, he is experiencing the sin of the whole world, but grief is painful for us because it is a taste of brokenness.
On the cross, Jesus validated the pain you feel and express during loss.
“But I am a worm and not a person, a disgrace of mankind and despised by the people.” Psalm 22:6
Charles Spurgeon says of verse six that a glorious Lord has been brought to abasement. God has gone from the great “I AM” to “I am a worm.” Grief and loss are that intense. Onlookers deride, sneer, and ridicule. He is alone.
I remember the day of my wife’s death. I was weak and could hardly stand at times. Shock and numbness overwhelm. Much worse happened to Jesus as his Father turned his back as he hung on the cross: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me” (Psalm 22:14) describes Jesus’ experience in the New Testament.
“But You, Lord, do not be far away; You who are my help, hurry to my assistance.” Psalm 22:19
David leads us to Jesus, our example, who gives us a model for importunate prayer. It’s desperate but trusting. He cries out to be rescued. Groans.
“You who fear the Lord, praise Him…glorify Him…stand in awe of Him….” Psalm 22:23
The response to your rescue is praise. The response is to stand in awe. The response is to make his name known to the ends of the earth. All nations. All families. Every generation. We turn to him and to him only because we fear his name and we praise and glorify him and stand in awe of him. And so should the whole world.
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You…It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.” Psalm 22:27, 30
Let’s remind ourselves of something important. Loss is a call to share good news with the world. Jesus gave his life because of brokenness. Sin defeated. Good news for you. Good news for the whole world. All nations. All families. Every generation.
No one is immune to loss. Jesus experienced death because of brokenness; we will most assuredly experience pain and loss. Jesus overwhelmed brokenness by facing death on our behalf. He rose again to conquer death and deliver resurrection power.
No one is immune to loss, but resurrection healing is available to all. That’s a message of righteousness and kindness worth declaring to a broken world.
“They will come and will declare His righteousness…” Psalm 22:31