The suffering of Christ is known by everyone who understands and believes in His salvific work. Suffering could not be divorced from His mission in the world. The prophecy of the Psalmist about the suffering of Christ and Christ´s perceived rejection by God is discussed.
The pleading cry of the Messiah
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent” (Psa 22:1-2).
Jesus, in His human nature, felt the pain of suffering and humiliation in His soul and felt that He had been rejected by the very God who sent Him into the world. Jesus´ cry of loneliness and abandonment, though not recorded in all the Gospels, it is recorded in Matthew. This was done so that everything that was written about the Messiah in the Holy Scriptures would be fulfilled.
The above scripture in Psalms was fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ. Matthew records that:
“Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mat 27:45-46).
The cry of the Messiah tells of His humanness as the Son of Man. Jesus could have easily fainted in His mind and abandoned his mission, or He could have yielded to the dictates and pleasures of this World, but He remained focused on the reason for His existence. He pleaded with God, His father, to strengthen Him as He prayed: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou” (Mat 26:29, 42, Mar 14:36, Luk 22:40, 42).
Jesus did not succeed because He was God while on earth. Paul writes that Jesus endured the cross and the contradictions against Him by despising the shame (Heb 12:2-3). It was His endurance and obedience to the one who called Him that made Him successful in His divine mandate.
Identifying with his suffering
As Christians, the only way to be like Christ is to identify with Him. We should not be scared of dying as we follow Christ and His steps. We must be willing and ready to die with Him for us to be raised and lived with Him (2Ti 2:11-12). It must be understood that our Savior also suffered even more than we do suffer today, so do not give up. He feels for us as we go through suffering. Paul wants believers to understand that we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities since Christ Himself was in all points tempted like us, yet He did not sin (Heb 4:15).
The Psalms, like the Prophets and the books of Moses, testifies about Jesus Christ. It was prophesied in Psalms many years before the incarnation of Christ, that Christ would feel lonely and forsaken, and that was fulfilled in the fullness of time.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to understand Scriptures black and white as they are written for our comprehension. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen!