Reflections on the words of Psalm 22:

My god, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why have You moved so far away from me that You don’t hear the anguish that rips me apart? I keep crying out, but have no peace because I’m not in Your presence.

And yet . . .

You are still on Your throne, holy and deserving all my praise. Our ancestors trusted You, and You delivered them. They weren’t ashamed to call You their God, and You vindicated their trust.

But I’m like a worm crawling in the dust, kicked aside, despised. Those who see me mock my faith in You, my relationship with You. Full of jealous anger, they do nothing but insult me. “He trusts in the Lord,” they sneer, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

And yet . . .

It was You who formed me and delivered me from my mother’s womb. It was You who formed my innate trust in You, flowing into my inner being along with my mother’s milk. There has never been a time when I have been without You as my God.

Please don’t leave me now; I need You as I have never needed You before, and no one else can help me.

I’m surrounded by territorial, bull-headed, mean-spirited brutes — heads down and ready to charge. Like roaring lions, they’re bent on ripping me apart, snarling out a stream of accusations against me.

My life is draining from me like water, every bone disjointed because no human being was intended to be fixed in this cruel position. My heart is as weak as melted wax. My mouth is dried clay, cracked and rough, with my tongue stuck fast to its roof. I can taste death.

Like a pack of vicious dogs,  these enemies are circling for the kill. These lions have sunk their fangs into my hands, my feet; with their horns these bulls have impaled me on this cross. The people beneath me can see every bone in my tortured body, and gloat. They’re deciding who will get my clothing, casting lots for some of it. Come close, Lord: be with me in this hour.

And yet . . .

Even now, my strength is in You. Oh, come quickly, come quickly!  Deliver me from any sword that would cut me off from you. Don’t let these jackals take the endurance You have given me. Snatch me whole from the teeth of the enemy who would mangle my assurance. Lift me from the deadly horns that would toss me into the oblivion of failure, never to return.

(It is finished. They have done to me all they had plotted, but their worst pales in the brilliance of Your best.)

Now I rise to declare Your Name to all people. You who fear the Lord, praise Him for what He has done through me! Honor and revere Him! You can see with your own eyes that my suffering was not in vain. Now you can be in communion with me as never before. Now you will be satisfied, finding what your hearts have always longed for, knowing that in me you have an eternal Savior.

For on that great day, when I return in glory, the whole earth will bow before me, and I will reign absolutely. All those who have found their treasure in me will worship and celebrate; those who understood who they are, who I am, and what I have done.

But for now, keep on telling each generation about me so they can be right with me. Tell them the good news, the best news the world has ever had: He has done it!