“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was his cry as the weight of life pressed down overbearing him. He felt completely alone and abandoned. He cried out, but there was no one. No one there; no one to pay attention to his needs. His enemies encircled him. He had nowhere to go, and he was met with silence. His cries seemed to only echo in the wind.
For most, when we think the above phrase and the emotions, we can assume came with it, we think of Jesus on the cross, and we should (more on that in a moment). But they were also David’s words and emotions. Amid intense suffering, David cries out to the Lord only to be met with silence. The weight of life coupled with the silence of God is unbearable for David, so he cries out, “Why God?”
David certainly isn’t the only one with this experience. Feeling the unbearable pressure of life is common; we all face it. We may feel forsaken by the Lord as life crumbles around us. The person who has lost 6 family members in the past year may feel abandoned. The family whose home and possessions were blown away by this week’s tornado may feel lost and lonely. The weight of life may be overbearing and pressing down so violently that we are crying out, “Why God?”
In these moments we can find courage though. We can find our courage by looking at the cross and Jesus.
You see, looking at the cross helps us realize Jesus understands how we feel. No one, including Jesus, desires to go through times of abandonment, loneliness, and deep sorrow in life. This is why Jesus prayed if it was possible for the cup to pass from him, yet the time on the cross came. We are unable to fully comprehend the agony of that experience. We comprehend just enough to understand those hours on the cross were excruciating. Jesus endured the misery of the cross, so he knows how we feel when it seems the full weight of life is pressing down on us. And, he has promised he will be there with us.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “For God has said,
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.” Looking at the cross gives us courage in knowing Jesus understands how we feel.
Looking at the cross also gives us courage in knowing vindication is coming. On that day, as Jesus endured the full weight of God’s wrath, he knew vindication would come. He knew victory was on the way, and this would not be the last word. His despair would be replaced with peace and his agony would be replaced with joy. Speaking of Jesus, Hebrews 12:2 says, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” The cross was definitely not the end.
The cross was followed by an empty tomb and risen Savior. As Jesus felt the full wrath of God on the cross, he looked ahead to the awaiting vindication. As we are under the unbearable weight of life’s pressure, we too can look ahead to vindication because of the cross. This season will be followed by a victorious one.
Psalm 22 begins with a cry of despair, but it does not end there. It ends with a proclamation of victory. Verse 24 says:
“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.”
When it seems, we are crushed and there is no escape, we can look to the cross and Jesus for victory. If life has you crushed and feeling like there’s no way out, concentrate on the cross and Jesus.