Reveal | Day 39- April 7 | Psalm 22: 1-11, 16-19

Scott Dermer
On the farm where I grew up, there was a small, vacant shack about a half-mile from our house. Its yard was overtaken by weeds and brush. The paint had worn away, leaving a gloomy exterior. All the windows were broken, and the chimney bricks were crumbling. It was a dark, forsaken place; a place I was unwilling to go.

On Good Friday, we are reminded that there is no place our Lord is unwilling to go.

In Psalm 22, we find words that Jesus himself prayed in the agony of the cross. (Matt. 27:46) “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1). This psalm is a lament, an honest expression of emotion to God. “Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” (v. 1) The psalmist is facing a painful situation. In his pain, he feels abandoned by God and thus begs God to draw close. “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near.” (v. 11)

Perhaps we can identify with the psalmist here. In life’s pain, God might seem distant, and we might struggle to sense the warmth of his presence. In those times, it is especially important to look to the cross.

The cross shows us that, in the person of Jesus, God has entered our pain. God has entered our darkness, our sense of forsakenness, and our very death. This is good news because it means that there is no place where God is not. There is no place that is truly abandoned. Thus, in our pain, and in the feelings of forsakenness that accompany it, we can affirm the reality of God’s presence. With Paul, we can proclaim that there is nothing in all creation that “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38)

Psalm 22 ends with an affirmation of God’s presence. Although the psalmist feels abandoned by God, he affirms that God is faithful. “He did not hide his face from me.” (v. 24)

As you experience Good Friday, look to the cross and know that there is no place our Lord has been unwilling to go. He has gone to death itself. Thus, we are never without his presence.

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