Formations Lesson for March 28- A Song of Despair
March 15 2010 by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Psalm 22:1-10, 14-15, 19-21; Mark 15:33-39  

“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The word “forsaken” can also be translated abandoned or deserted. First spoken by King David, then Jesus, these words are a cry from the heart.

Have you ever felt as though God has forsaken you? If so, you are in good company. The words uttered by King David and Jesus have been spoken by countless millions of perplexed and suffering people through the centuries.

It is a question as old as humanity. It is as new as the pain of a broken heart. My God, my God, why…?

I remember accompanying a highway patrolman to tell a young woman in my congregation that her husband had been killed in a car accident caused by a drunken driver. I will never forget her deep pain and the way she cried out to God. “Why God? Where were you?” 

What do we have to offer someone who is in the depths of despair? We have a Christ who has walked that road and who is, therefore, able to enter into full sympathy with us.

We can be sure that God is not angry because we question.

After all, Jesus Himself asked “Why?”

The articulation of the absence of God in Psalm 22 lasts for 21 verses. Who knows how long those verses represent in actual time? The feeling of abandonment can last a long time. However, even in the worst situations of life we must cling to God.

Charles Spurgeon said that it is easy to believe in God when life smiles on you, but it is much more difficult when life frowns on you.

The psalmist says, “My strength is dried up…and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death” (Ps. 22:15).

Although spoken by David, these words were fulfilled by Jesus’ suffering during His crucifixion. John 19:28 says, “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’”

It is striking to me that the very order of the psalms seems to suggest that we can rely on God. The psalm immediately following Psalm 22 is, of course, Psalm 23 which begins “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

This is Passion Week. Easter trumps Good Friday. God’s healing triumphs over tragedy. A song of despair can become a song of thanksgiving as we cling to God, “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor. 15:57).  
3/15/2010 5:34:00 AM by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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