For more help use this Bible Study method
Eloi Eloi Lema Sabachtani
by Mary Kate Hipp
"Eloi Eloi lema sabachtani--My God, my God why have you forsaken me?"
A few days ago we observed Good Friday and remembered Jesus on the cross who recited this verse in His final breaths. We saw the humanity of the Son of God through this expression of divine abandonment.
Have you ever found yourself feeling like God has forgotten you? Or that God has forsaken you? Or felt as though God loves everyone but you? Do you ever feel as though you are constantly crying out to God yet He does not hear your plea? I will be the first to admit that I have felt this way. Even in the past week, I found myself mourning over a particular experience from the past few years asking God, "How could you let this happen to me? Are you even there?"
However, in the midst of this thought, the Lord reminded me of this Psalm. God sent His Son in full humanity to empathize with us in my every ache and pain--even feeling abandoned by God. On the cross, Jesus experienced divine abandonment and cried out this verse. Jesus knew the Scripture so well that His final breaths were spent quoting Pslams. I think it was no coincidence that this was the Psalm He quoted either. Jesus, having been an avid student of the Torah, would have known that not even two verses later the psalmist transitions into praise and hopefulness before the Lord. Jesus shares in our pains and experiences and also demonstrates the heart posture we should adopt.
Let us not sit in our tears and pleas, let our suffering and silence turn into praise. As we cry out before the Father, He answers and delivers us from the pit and the mire. We can say this with confidence because of how He has continually delivered our fathers and most importantly, He delivered Jesus from the cross. (He is risen!)
Now sure, this is easy to say--simply turn your suffering into praise, "but Mary Kate, He still has not answered my prayer. It still feels like God is distant from me." I hear you. Perhaps, it seems like you are unable to turn your suffering and silence into praise. I once heard a song that reads:
"I believe in the sun even when it is not shining;
I believe in love even when I feel it not
and I believe in God even when He is silent."
So even when it feels like our pleas and praises are going nowhere--He is still God, He is still good, He is still there. A lack of response does not negate the sovereignty of God. As surely as the sun rises, does God comfort His children. Perhaps your praise is recognizing that God is still there even when He is silent.
(Picture is the floor placed over Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Israel)
Write your own Psalm 22! Begin by honestly and humbly crying out to God. Then transition into praising Him for His presence and His faithfulness. Take time to meditate on what the Lord has done for you and will do for you throughout this process.