FRIDAY, MARCH 5 | PSALM 22
He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24
As Jesus hung on the cross, he uttered a few sayings that have become very familiar to many of us. When he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), he was echoing the words of Psalm 22:1 in an excruciating cry of pain to God his Father. This psalm, though it begins with a cry of pain, turns into an expression of faith and thanksgiving in the end.
The first half of the psalm foreshadows much of what Jesus experienced on the cross: mocking, insults, thirst, the piercing of his hands and feet, even the casting of lots for his clothing. But further into the psalm, as our verse for today says, God “has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
While it seemed Christ had been forever abandoned, God wasn’t through with him. Jesus’ body would be placed in a grave, but
he would be raised from the dead, the Lord of life! He would
be crowned with the name that is above every name (see Philippians 2:9-11).
Hebrews 5:7 says that while Jesus lived on earth, “he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”
He was heard! It seemed for a time that he was not, but God did hear, and Jesus was assured that he could rest in his Father’s hands (see Luke 23:46). And on the third day he rose from the grave!
We too can be assured that God hears our every prayer. So take heart that you can share your thoughts, concerns, and even your most excruciating cries of pain with an ever-hearing God!
Gracious God, you heard Jesus even in those darkest moments. Thank you that I can trust that you will never abandon me. Thank you, Father! Amen.
—WRITTEN BY SHAWN BRIX