“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and feet.” Psalm 22:1,16
These are the words of Jesus the Messiah as He suffered on the cross. These verses show what He endured at the hands of God and at the hands of men.
1. An unnatural seperation took place at the cross. There has been a perfect unity from all eternity within the one true God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are fully united. Yet at the cross, in a great mystery, the Father turned His face away from His Son who had taken on humanity. Why? Because Jesus was bearing the ugliness and filth of men and women’s sins. God is holy and sin had to be punished. All the sins of all of God’s people was dealt with in full at the cross.
2. This act of redemption glorified God. God’s holiness was not compromised because sin was dealt with according to God’s perfect justice. God’s grace and love were shown forth in great glory. All this was planned and agreed to do by Father and Son because they loved a people! This love was not just in word, but in action. So, instead of us suffering God’s righteous wrath, Jesus agreed to suffer it for us. And the Father was willing to forsake the Son whom He loved, because He desired to show mercy to sinners.
3. Jesus was cruelly treated by His captors. He was despised and judged by men as not being worthy of living. He was stripped of His clothes and displayed on a cross with the undignified death of a lowlife. He was judged a failure and a shame.
Friend, there is no love like that of Jesus. He was willing to be forsaken by the Father and willing to be abused by men. It wasn’t on accident, but on purpose. As Paul said, “He loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Are you resting and trusting in His love and grace for your forgiveness? Do you judge His death like the Father does, a success? Are you willing to follow Him, even if it means being despised by men? Are you praising and thanking Him with word and action today for what great things He has done?