Have you ever had a friend turn his or her back on you? If so, you know
what it feels like to be forsaken. And the bitter experience which you
had gave you a slight, a very slight, insight into?? what Jesus suffered
on the cross. Today’s attached devotional will help you see the meaning
of it all. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Psalm 22:1 (ESV)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
First, Christ’s desertion is preventive of your final desertion: because he was forsaken for a time, you shall not be forsaken forever: for he was forsaken for you: and God’s forsaking him, though but for a few hours, is equivalent to his forsaking you forever. It is every way as much for the dear Son of God, the darling delight of his soul, to be forsaken of God for a time; as if such a poor inconsiderable thing as thou art shouldest be cast off to eternity. Now, this being equivalent, and borne in thy room, must needs give thee the highest security in the world, that God will never finally withdraw from thee: had he intended to have done so, Christ had never made such a sad outcry as you hear this day, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
Secondly, Moreover, this sad desertion of Christ becomes a comfortable pattern to poor deserted souls in divers respects: and the proper business of such souls, at such times, is to eye it believingly…
First, Though God deserted Christ, yet at the same time he powerfully supported him: his omnipotent arms were under him, though his pleased face was hid from him: he had not indeed his smiles, but he had his supports. So, Christian, just so shall it be with thee: thy God may turn away his face, he will not pluck away his arm… Our Father, in this, deals with us, as we ourselves sometimes do with a child that is stubborn and rebellious. We turn him out of doors, and bid him begone out of our sight: and there he sighs and weeps; but however, for the humbling of him, we will not presently take him into house and favor: yet we order, or at least permit the servants to carry him meat and drink: here is fatherly care and support, though no former smiles or manifested delights.
Secondly, Though God deserted Christ, yet he deserted not God: his Father forsook him, but he could not forsake his Father, but followed him with this cry, ‘My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?’
“And is it not even so with you? God goes off from your souls, but you cannot go off from him. No, your hearts are mourning after the Lord, seeking him carefully with tears: complaining of his absence as the greatest evil in this world. This is Christ-like…
Thirdly, Though God forsook Christ, yet he returned to him again. It was but for a time, not forever. In this also doth his desertion parallel yours. God may, for several wise and holy reasons, hide his face from you, but not so as it is hid from the damned, who shall never see it again. This cloud will pass away; this night shall have a bright morning….
Fourthly, Though God forsook Christ, yet at that time he could justify God. So you read, Psa. xxii.2, 3. ‘O my God’ (saith he), ‘I cry in the day-time; but thou hearest not; and in the night- season, and am not silent: but thou art holy.’ Is not thy spirit, according to the measure, framed like Christ’s in this; canst thou not, say even when he writes bitter things against thee, he is a holy, faithful, and good God for all this! I am deserted but not wronged. There is not one drop of injustice in all the sea of my sorrows. Though he condemned me, I must, and will justify him: this also is Christ-like.” [The Works of John Flavel I, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1820), p. 415-416]