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Daily Devotional // Psalms 22:1-8; Matthew 27:32-50

Daily Devotional // Psalms 22:1-8; Matthew 27:32-50

Posted on February 18, 2019

Have you ever felt like God abandoned you? 

Have your parents divorced? Has your doctor given you a diagnosis? Another failed pregnancy? When you prayed for a miracle, held onto faith—but that person still passed away, that job went to somebody else, or that child continues to live off the rails? 

Do you know Jesus empathizes to the deepest parts of your sorrow?

Remember when He hung on a cross? Here was God’s Son, enduring one of the most gruesome forms of persecution, contorted on these wooden beams, and heaving through breaths. His friends abandoned Him, His enemies mocked Him, nails pierced into His body, and the weight of the world’s sin was placed on His shoulders. Onlookers scoffed, “He said He can save others, but look! He can’t even save Himself! He trusted God, and look what that did for Him.” Hours of this, and Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

Maybe in your hardest moments, you’ve thought the same thing. God could’ve helped me. He could’ve done the miracle. He could’ve displayed His power on my behalf. But look. I trusted Him and held onto faith… look what that did for me. In your sorrow and pain, you echoed Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forgotten me? How could you have left me?” 

Don’t miss what comes next. Because it’s all too easy for us to stay near-sighted, fixing our eyes on our cross today, forgetting what God tells us lies ahead. We can’t see it yet. We don’t know how it’s going to pan out. But we know how it ends.

Jesus didn’t stay on the cross, and His story doesn’t end in the grave. God knew this all along. He called His Son to persevere through agony on Friday, death on Saturday, but come Sunday, life and victory were His. Jesus asked if there was a way for this cup to pass, but this was the plan. And because of His suffering and sacrifice, people are now saved from their sin with the promise of eternal life. What Jesus did for us? There is nothing greater that what Jesus did for us. In the end, God used every blood-stained tear for glory, and He promises this is our ending too.

No matter what we face today, may we fight for a far-sighted perspective. We can ask God to let this cup pass, and sometimes, He may. But other times, He may not.

In those moments, this is where His people must take faith. Because Sunday is coming. Life and victory is ours. And God will use our tears, pain, and suffering for His glory—if we let Him. Because the truth is—He has not abandoned us. God gave up His one and only Son, so that we could be reunited with Him forevermore. Why would He abandon us now? Nothing can separate us from His love. Claim it, believe it, and let your sorrow be for His glory.

Reflect:
  1. When have you felt like God has abandoned you?
  2. Whenever we wonder if God has left us or forgotten us, may we remember Jesus on the cross and remind ourselves the truth. “Father, thank you for loving me and giving up Your Son for me. You are well-aware of the things happening in my life, and I choose to believe you will use it all for my good and Your glory. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice and the ultimate reminder that our story doesn’t end in pain or sorrow. Your goodness and victory reigns.”
Psalms 22:1-8

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
    and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
    They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Matthew 27:32-50

The Crucifixion

32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 34 The soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35 After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. 37 A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.

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