In Luke 2:34-35, Simeon tells Mary, Jesus’s mother, that “a sword will pierce” her soul because of her child. Psalm 22 foretells that anguish in detail. It described the sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of his people.
1. The Abandoned Son
In Mark 15:34-37, we hear Jesus praying Psalm 22 which he is hanging on the cross. While many people have rejected God through the centuries, only Jesus was abandoned by him. But God abandoned Jesus, not because Christ had sinned, but because he took our sin on himself so he could atone for it.
2. The Cost of Atonement
Atonement means, literally, at-one-ment. We ran from God and rejected him. Christ died so that the hostility our sin created could be put to an end. His sacrifice was the costliest one ever given, as St. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” God paid the highest price possible for you, to be at-one with you. That means he will never abandon you.
3. The Hope of Faith
Faith looks back and knows that “he has done it” (Psalm 22:31); or as Jesus said in John 19:31, “It is finished.” Knowing that Christ has atoned for us is the foundation of our faith. And faith produces hope (Psalm 22:26-27) through any trial in this life, which, in turn, produces praise and worship in our hearts to God (Psalm 22:22-23).
Reflection & Application Questions
Have you ever felt abandoned by someone? How did it feel?
Jesus lived his whole life in perfect, loving relationship with God the Father. Then, on the cross, he was forsaken by God when he became sin for us. What do you think that was like?
How could David describe Jesus’s crucifixion so accurately 1,000 years before it happened?
Psalm 22:4 says that God is “enthroned on the praises” of his people. If God were to make a throne from the praise that you give him, what kind of throne would it be? Why?
What does it mean to you that God paid way more for your atonement than he paid for anything else in the universe? We are surprised when a painting is sold for $450m. Are we shocked that God would pay an even higher price to save us—the blood of his own Son?
If God has paid the highest price in the universe to redeem you, do you think he will ever leave you or forsake you?