Psalm 22:1–3 (ESV) — 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
As Jesus is on the cross, suffering in our place for our sins (hallelujah! They are met in Him), He cries out. I am inclined to think His words are not so much query – as reminder. He knows full well why He is there. While there is mystery to others, it is not so to Him. As the angel in Gethsemane said: “He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (Luke 24:6–7 (ESV). Jesus had told His disciples over and over that He would be crucified. And He knew full well why – “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 (ESV)
How then do we hear His “why?” He is calling upon the Father to bear witness, the recall His covenant, to make good on His promise. Remember why I am doing this! Remember, and save by means of my atoning blood. Father – remember why.
But still, we can identify with the mystery of it all and the trauma of it. And, we can see in the next verse the way Jesus sustained His own soul in those hours. It is as if He is saying: No matter how it feels, no matter how disconcerting, how distressing, how shameful, painful and incomprehensible it is all – THIS, I know, “Yet you are holy.” You are holy. You cannot do me wrong. You cannot err in your wisdom. You cannot fail in your power. There is no defect in your love. You are holy. And that, can sustain me in my direst hour.
And beloved, because we are in Christ – we too can know the very same. No matter how confusing and/or painful our life circumstances may be – He is holy. And in His holiness, He cannot err in the ordering of our lives. May that sustain us in the darkest of hours – even as it did our Savior.