Perhaps we can describe the pathos of Psalm 22 as sorrowful, yet overflowing with love. For though these astonishing words portray our Savior in the depth and agony of His passion, He displays a faith that is strong, secure – and filled with Hope.
When he breathed these words, He was exhausted from fasting and scourging. Together with this extreme physical condition was the mental torture resulting from His incredible shame and humiliation. And then the greatest agony of all: the departure of God, His Father, from Him.
For most of us, the pain of this "Song of the Cross" does not translate easily into every day life. But read the words of Charles Spurgeon:
The crucifixion of Christ was the crowning sin of our race. In His death we shall find all the sins of mankind uniting in foul conspiracy. Envy and pride and hate are there with covetousness, falsehood and blasphemy eager to rush on to cruelty, revenge and murder. As the rivers run to the sea, and as all the clouds empty themselves upon the earth, so did all the crimes of man gather to the slaying of the son of God. It seemed as if hell held an assembly and all the various forms of sin came flocking to the rendezvous. Army upon army, they hastened to the battle. As the vultures hasten to a body, so the flock of sins came to make the Lord their prey. For crucifixion was a death worthy to have been invented by devils.
Yet, in spite of our Lord’s desperate cry, God chose to include verses 3-5 of Psalm 22 for us – to give hope and encouragement to His Saints. In the midst of misery, Jesus looks again to His Father and says:But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest (inhabits) the praises of Israel.
What a mystery. Painful, humiliating circumstances could not obscure the faithfulness of His Father. God is always the object of worship. No matter how bleak the outlook, there is praise for our great God. Christ, forsaken by God, could still sing of God’s incredible holiness.
Today, regardless of the pain, there must always be praise – always a song! If our prayers go unheeded, it is not because God is unfaithful. Courage! God the holy One, has a perfect reason for His slow response.
At this most solemn time of the year, let us remember that God is in control. We can trust Him to turn tragedy into triumph. Let us sing in our sorrow remembering that even from the Cross, Jesus is our joy and our comfort!