“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Why art Thou so far from helping Me?” (Psalm 22:1).
Has a greater cry ever resonated through the corridors of time than this cry of the Lord Jesus? These actual words of the Lord Jesus on the cross (Matt 27:46) appropriately begin the first five verses which set forth the cry out of the darkness of Calvary. We notice the distance that the Sufferer felt as He cried, “Why art Thou so far from helping Me?” His cry was a cry for deliverance, a cry that would be answered in the resurrection, but which could not be answered until His sufferings were over and atonement for sin had been made. Psalm 22:6-8 give us the cry of the despised Man of Calvary. “They laugh me to scorn…they shoot out the lip…they shake the head, saying…” How great was His reproach in the hour of His great suffering! There was none to comfort; there were many to revile.
The next two verses, 9-10, show us the cry of the dependentMan of Calvary. “I was cast upon Thee from the womb.” In all His ways His manhood was perfect and was lived as God desired in a man, in total dependence upon Him. On the Cross, this trusting manhood is preeminent as He submits totally to the will of the Father. The last eleven verses of this first section give us a picture of the distressed Man of Calvary. The inner sufferings are described for us but are intensified by the besetting bulls of Bashan, the Jewish leaders, and by encompassing dogs, the Gentile leaders, and then by the abuse of the demonic hosts as pictured in the lion’s mouth. The suffering, the separation, the stares, the shame and the Satanic attacks – all were a part of His grief on Golgotha! Verse 20 tells us, “Thou hast heard Me.” There is a period of silence, and then we are introduced to the glory of the second part of Psalm 22.