Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #209 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalm 22 today and our focus is on Why Was Jesus Abandoned on the Cross? How Jesus Was Forsaken So You Don’t Have to Be.. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
I have spoken a few times over the past year that the Psalms have become more precious to me personally, especially as we have gone through one wave of the pandemic after another. The Psalms are great ways to express and process emotions, and are great examples of how there is nothing new under the sin – so much of the struggles we feel in an ongoing way are recorded in the Psalms. We are not the first to feel these feelings that wrack our souls! Another way the Psalms are helpful is in our prayer lives – they help us pray, encourage us to pray, and give us words and expressions for our prayers that we know are inspired by the Spirit.
Today’s Psalm is particularly precious, because it is the Psalm that Jesus quoted and prayed when He was on the cross. In fact, a Psalm may have been the very last thing Jesus said before He died, or slightly more likely given John 19, it was probably the second to the last thing that Jesus said before His death:
45 From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came over the whole land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?”that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. 49 But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Matthew 27:45-49
This shows the value and importance of the Psalms in the life of Jesus – in His hour of greatest crisis and suffering, out pours a Psalm. What comes out of us when we go through the most difficult times is usually that which is deepest and most genuine in us. That a Psalm came out when Jesus was suffering at His worst shows just how deep and central the Psalms were in His life.
Why was Jesus abandoned on the cross? Why, at His hour of greatest need, did God turn His back on His one and only Son, when that one and only Son was obeying God in a greater way than any being has ever done in history? Why did God turn His back on the greatest display of faithfulness ever at the hour of His son’s greatest need ever? As we mentioned yesterday when we discussed the crucifixion in Luke 23, it is because the “punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.” If God had rescued Jesus on the cross, then we would still be lost and unsaved and ourselves abandoned. Because Jesus was forsaken, we can be welcomed. Here’s Tim Keller to help us see this glorious and expensive truth:
The wages of sin is aloneness. The wages of sin is to be forsaken. The wages of sin is to be horribly and terribly alone.
On the cross when Jesus Christ said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that was the straw that broke his back. He had been betrayed by his friends. He had been rejected by his people. Now he was forsaken by his Father. Why? He got the aloneness you and I deserve. He got what your sins and my sins deserve. He lost all community. He was forsaken utterly. Do you know what that means? Because Jesus was forsaken in your place, God will never forsake you. Everything you deserve fell into Jesus’ heart, and now he will never, ever forsake you. You can know that, and you can know he loves you like that…. Jesus Christ lost the acclamation of heaven and took the approbation and took the rejection we deserve so we can have what he deserved, which is what?….“Well done, good and faithful servant!” When Jesus Christ went to the cross, for you, for me, for God, there’s the ultimate accomplishment. Yet Jesus was forsaken by God. He heard in his soul the words, “Depart from me …” so we could hear in our soul, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You are my beloved child in whom I am well-pleased.” Jesus Christ made himself of no reputation. He lost everything so you could have a name with God. He was jeered so you could have the infinite honor of God. That’s what he did. That’s what it cost him. Only when I see that, only when you see that can you be absolutely convinced in your heart of God’s delight in you, God’s praise of you, and then you don’t have to worry about what anybody else thinks or says.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
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