Luther was in despair. His confessor, John Staupitz, could not help him out of the pit. So he told Luther he was to undertake preaching and assume the chair of Bible at the university. So Luther began lecturing on the Psalms in 1513, on Romans in 1515, and on Galatians in 1516, and, as his biographer says, “These studies proved to be for Luther the Damascus road.” See, in today’s devotional, what God’s Word can did for Luther! Why not for you? 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?
“The reference to Christ was unmistakable when he came to the twenty-second psalm, the first verse of which was recited by Christ as He expired on the cross. ‘My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?’ What could be the meaning of this? Christ evidently felt himself to be forsaken, abandoned by God, deserted…. The utter desolation which Luther said he could not endure for more than a tenth of an hour and live had been experienced by Christ himself as he died. Rejected of men, he was rejected also of God. How much worse this must have been than the scourging, the thorns, the nails!… Christ had suffered what Luther suffered, or rather Luther was finding himself in what Christ had suffered…
“Why should Christ have known such desperations? Luther knew perfectly well why he himself had had them: he was weak in the presence of the Mighty; he was impure in the presence of the Holy; he had blasphemed the Divine Majesty. But Christ was not weak; Christ was not impure, Christ was not impious. Why then should he have been so overwhelmed with desolation? The only answer must be that Christ took to himself the iniquity of us all. He who was without sin for our sakes became sin and so identified himself with us as to participate in our alienation…. What a new picture this is of Christ! Where, then, is the judge, sitting upon the rainbow to condemn sinners? He is still the judge. He must judge, as truth judges error and light darkness; but in judging he suffers with those whom he must condemn and feels himself with them subject to condemnation. The judge upon the rainbow has become the derelict upon the cross.
“A new view also of God is here. The All Terrible is the All Merciful too. Wrath and love fuse upon the cross. The hideousness of sin cannot be denied or forgotten; but God, who desires no that a sinner should die but that he should turn and live, has found the reconciliation in the pangs of bitter death. It is not that the Son by his sacrifice has placated the irate Father; it is not primarily that the Master by his self-abandoning goodness has made up for our deficiency. It is that in some inexplicable way, in the utter desolation of the forsaken Christ, God was able to reconcile the world to himself…. This is the foolishness of the cross which is hid from the wise and prudent. Reason must retire. She cannot understand that ‘God hides his power in weakness, his wisdom in folly, his goodness in severity, his justice in sins, his mercy in anger.’” [Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1950), p. 44-46]