Daily Lent Devotional #45 (4/22/2011)

Today’s Topic:   “Experiencing God’s Presence”

Today’s Scripture:   Psalm 22:  1-8, 14-18

1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 “He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

14 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me;
   a band of evil men has encircled me,
   they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

This Bible passage was written by King David, a thousand years before Jesus Christ was born on Earth.  This passage represents one of the great mysteries of Scripture that occurs quite often:  a Bible passage is written or prophesied in the ancient past to refer to a situation going on at that time; but the passage will also have an even deeper application in the future (often without the writer having any idea that this will be the case).  In this passage, King David is writing out of fear and sadness over feeling forgotten and rejected by God (as well as him feeling paranoid over being persecuted by neighboring countries and untrustworthy allies).

The larger application for this passage refers to Jesus’ day of crucifixion.  Many of the verses refer to Jesus’ state of mind and body during this horrific day; particularly feeling the absence of God’s presence.  For us humans, we deal with this regularly.  We always feel this slight disconnect with God when we sin, but that’s not the only time it happens.  Sometimes painful or saddening experiences that we have can overwhelm our faith; and we then begin to think and feel that God is absent.  When calm; however, we would openly claim that God is Omnipresent (everywhere-at-once) and has a loving interest in our lives.  Our feelings block out what we know in our hearts to be true…that God is near.

For Jesus, this experience of feeling separated from God was completely new.  As part of the eternal Trinity (even while he was on Earth), Jesus had never been apart from the presence of God.  Now, bearing the crushing weight of the sins of all mankind on the cross, Jesus feels this absence of God’s presence.  He then echoes David’s words; “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me?”  Jesus’ name means “God is my Salvation,” yet at this moment…he laid down his divine identity and privileges; becoming “Sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).  That’s what makes grace so amazing. 🙂

Attached in my Vodpod on this page is a video for “Desert Song” by Hillsong United.  It speaks to the pain of feeling separated and “dried up” that we all go through in life; but it also reminds us that there is always a reason to praise the God who is always there for us and loves us.

Blessings to you on this Good Friday,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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