But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.Psalm 22:3(KJV)
In bygone days, the first line of a Psalm was often the title of that whole song, and the opening words of this poignantly prophetic Psalm is no exception, for these were the very words that the Lord Jesus Christ cried out from the Cross when He was made sin for your sins and for mine: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
From beginning to end, Psalm 22 is identified as one of the most significant Messianic passages that provides a frame-by-frame record of Christ's agony and the sacrificial offering of Himself on Calvary's Cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" he screamed. "Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"
Matthew's exposition of that unique day was that at three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice the very Psalm that was penned by David: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" and very likely the Lord Jesus recited every wonderful word and every agonizing verse of that astonishing Psalm, which details the shocking truth of what Christ had to bear on the Cross, to pay the required price for the sin of the world.
On that pivotal day in the history of the universe, Jesus had already sought forgiveness for those who knew not what they did. He had already promised one dying thief that he would be with Him in paradise when he acknowledged Jesus as Lord, and He had also made gracious provision for His grieving mother who would be adopted into the family of His servant, John, before His Father turned away from the Son of His love, as the sin of the world was laid on His shoulders.
Both God the Father and God the Spirit turned their back on God the Son, as he bore the sin of the world upon His sinless shoulders, and the unity that the Three had enjoyed for an eternity was shattered for the first time, as the Father and the Spirit together poured out the fullness of their wrath upon the Son.
Jesus was no ordinary man. He was the eternal Son of God Who had become the perfect Son of Man Who had lived a perfect life and died a sacrificial death for the sin of mankind, for which He alone was qualified. Indeed, the Psalmist quickly made Christ's identity known for he wrote in verse 3: "Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel."
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son - the Son of His love, to be man's sin offering. No wonder that the sun was tuned into darkness as the beloved Son of God was overwhelmed with grief as the wrath of God was poured out upon Him... as He drank every drop of that cup of death for three, seemingly endless, hours.
How appropriate, therefore, that despite the indescribable grief of our suffering Saviour Who willingly became sin so that all that trust in His name might be saved, the very next words of this beautiful Psalm that demands our eternal praise and worship proclaims, "But You are holy - O You that inhabit the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted. They trusted, and You delivered them. To You, they cried out and were delivered. In You, they trusted and were not disappointed."
At the darkest point in His life, Jesus set us a perfect example by calling to remembrance the goodness of His ever-faithful God by reciting the Scripture that met His deepest point of need.
Never forget the everlasting goodness of God during those darkest periods of your life when perhaps you imagine that God has turned His back on you. He never has, for He willingly suffered all the wrath of God and punishment for sin that you and I deserve, when the Father placed your sin and mine upon the Lord Jesus.
Even in those darkest days of your life, if you can lift up your voice to rejoice in the Lord and praise His holy name, you will discover that the Lord is indeed holy, and our God Who died so that we might live eternally truly does inhabit the praises of His people.
Oh my God and my Father, I cannot comprehend what my Lord Jesus had to go through to pay the price for my sins, but I praise You, I praise You my God, I praise you forever. In Jesus' name, AMEN.