April 28, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Psalm 22:1,10 My God
Psalm 22:19 My Strength
The cross was the full display of all the Son ever was. If “now with eyes defiled and dim” we can see and trace some of the moral beauties which were on display at Calvary, what must the full, unobstructed appreciation of God have been for what marked out the heart of His Son-Servant on the cross!
One of those virtues is seen in the expressions from verses 1, 10, and 19. It is His perfect dependence, as a Man, upon His God. In the cry which came from His heart, “My God, My God.” and again, “O My strength,” I see His awareness of:
The Ultimate Reality of God: Here was a mind that truly “stopped at God” (Isa 26:3). Men might rage; His foes might abound; His enemies gloat over their apparent victory and control of the events, but He owned God as being in total control of every circumstance of life. As such He was bowing to God’s wisdom, will, and ways. There was no struggle amongst the Godhead either in Gethsemane or at Golgotha.
The Unchanging Relationship with God: The change of circumstances and the darkness did not cancel or alter His total devotion. He was still ‘His’ God when He went into the storm of Calvary as well as when He came out of the storm. His devotion to His God never wavered; His delight in His God never waned. He would still own and confess God as His – whatever the circumstances may be.
The Unquestioned Righteousness: The “Why” of Calvary was never a question-mark placed against the character of God. Without that cry, we would have never known the depths of what He endured for us on the cross. Would anyone of us have dared to think that God would forsake Him at Calvary were it not for His own cry on the cross? The questions of verse 1 are immediately followed by the acknowledgement of verse 3, that in all He does, God maintains and does not compromise His holy character.
The Unfailing Resource: Perhaps most touching of all are His words, “Be not Thou far from Me, O Lord, O My strength.” What makes these words so precious is that they were being spoken by the Omnipotent One. He, possessor of all power and authority, is “allowing” God to be “His strength.” He could have, in keeping with what was inherently His own person, manifested His strength at Calvary. But instead, He will allow God to be “His strength” and to deliver Him. Can we begin to appreciate what that must have meant to the heart of God? In a scene where humanity vainly boasts in its own strength and ability, the One Who possessed all power allowed another to be His strength! The wonder is that Heaven was not rent asunder with a proclamation for an entire universe to hear, “This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”
Calvary was the final and perhaps, the greatest display of His dependence upon His God. It was a dependence which began in His mother’s womb (v 10) and ended in Joseph’s tomb. Each moment of His life was marked by this same dependence; but at Calvary, the cost was greater and thus the fruit was sweeter!
Beginning with Luke 2:12, trace the places where the Lord is seen “lying” and note His dependence in different circumstances