“My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you far from helping me, far from the words of my groaning?” (Psa. 22:1).
These are some of the darkest words in Scripture. It’s almost painful to speak them, to imagine a feeling of complete abandonment by God. These are also the words we hear Jesus say when He is hanging from the cross (Matt. 27:46). When He utters them, He makes Himself one with this ultimate sufferer, this true lamenter, in Psa. 22. He is essentially saying, “I am He: the one who has suffered the most for God’s cause and thus knows what it means to be human.”
The plea in this psalm becomes even sadder, but then it is followed by a surprising affirmation of complete faithfulness in God: “O my God, I call by day and you do not answer, and by night but I have no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Psa. 22:2–3). The very nature of crying out to God, even in a time of feeling like He has completely aban…