May 12, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Psalm 22:1 Why hast Thou Forsaken Me?
Psalm 22:31 That He hath done this!
Like two bookends, these verses stand, defining this remarkable Psalm. Technically, they foreshadow the fourth and sixth cries from the cross. The cry of abandonment was the middle cry of the seven. It told of the depths of His grief. The One Who found all His joy in God’s presence (“In Thy presence is fullness of joy” Psalm 16:11) knew the deepest of sorrow when the withdrawal of the enjoyment of that presence was experienced at Calvary. “That He hath done this” or, “It is finished” (John 19:30) was the next to last utterance, spoken prior to committing Himself to His Father. Triumphant, thrilling, it must have filled heaven with joy and wonder.
The Psalm which begins with the Savior forsaken and men proclaiming His guilt and unrighteousness, ends with the entire universe owning His righteousness and finished work. The Psalm which begins with men boasting in their own righteousness, gloating over their victim as they surrounded the tree and mocked Him, ends with a redeemed universe surrounding the throne owning His righteousness and worth. The One Who was forsaken now has with Him brethren (v 22), the seed of Jacob (v 23), a great congregation (v 25) and the ends of the world and the kindred of all nations (v 27). He was alone at Calvary that He might have associates share His glory and Kingdom.
There is something so fitting about the Psalm ending in this manner. As the peals of worship swell and fill a redeemed universe, first rising from the redeemed Bride of the Lamb (v 22), and then the great congregation of Israel (v 15), and finally the entire universe (v 27), the united anthem will be that the Righteous Servant of Jehovah has finished the work of salvation. All that was required to fit men for God’s presence, to furnish a Bride for the Son, and to fill a universe with joy and bliss, was accomplished by One Man by His one sacrifice. “It is finished” will echo throughout earth and heaven.
All the families in heaven and earth will own, not only His righteousness, but that every purpose of God has been accomplished and secured through that finished work. All the redeemed of all ages will own as well that every blessing which we will know and enjoy eternally has been secured through that finished work.
“He hath done this!” This great work; this unique and never to be repeated work; this God-glorifying work. Does any language contain a word as meaningful and as wonderful as “finished!”
1. Look ahead to Psalm 24 and notice the titles of the Lord Jesus: “the King of Gory, the Lord of Hosts, the Lord mighty in battle.” Can you contrast them with the experience of the Lord Jesus at Calvary?
2. Psalm 22:1 says, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and Psalm 23:4 “Thou art with Me.” Find other links between the two Psalms.