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My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

(64)

Sermon shared by Joel Pankow

March 2003
Summary: how Jesus words on the cross were predicted
Denomination: Lutheran
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Psalm 22:1-2
1 Psalm 22 For the director of music. To the tune of "The Doe of the Morning." A psalm of David. 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. (NIV)

It seems like only yesterday. About two years ago, I awoke early one crisp morning - while it was still dark out, and traveled to my brother in law’s house. After gathering our guns and donning our blaze orange, we set out on our path of destruction. Craftily we drove my Honda a few miles down the road, to where he knew there was a little cove nestled with deer. A year’s worth of jerky was awaiting us, as we harvested 3 good size deer - two bucks and a doe.
This Psalm which we will be studying for the next seven weeks was written to the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” What happens to a doe in the morning? It gets hunted. Since this song was entitled “the doe of the Morning”, it probably was a song that reflected an animal being hunted. One modern day example might be the Jaws theme or the theme from the Empire Strikes Back. It wasn’t a light hearted beer drinking song made to make you feel good. It was a song that carried along with it the connotations of death and destruction.
David picked this music as the setting of his song. In other words, different lyrics were written for this tune of David’s time. As you can tell from his choice of background music, this psalm isn’t going to be a very cheerful song. The lyrics are sad. They talk about what would happen to the promised Messiah. Sometimes when you listen to a song, you may not listen to the lyrics. We don’t want to do that with this Psalm. This Psalm, psalm 22, is jam packed with predictions and references to the Messiah. So we will want to pay careful attention to it.
Today we will look at vs. 1-2. These are words that Jesus cried out while He was hanging on the cross. Jesus asked the question - My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? We will attempt to answer that question this evening with 3 other questions.

My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me

I. What is a God?

Jesus was calling out to His God on the cross when He said, “My God, My God.” What did Jesus mean when He said, “my God”? What is a god? Luther explained it this way, To whatever we look for any good thing and for refuge in every need, that is what is meant by ‘god’. So a God is something you rely on for good and that which you take refuge in.
Take for instance Ahithophel. He had been King David’s advisor for many years, but decided to rebel against David in favor of David’s son Absolom - the one who got his hair caught in a tree. Ahithophel had grown used to people asking him for advice - he liked the feeling of being needed. But when he tried to give Absolom advice, the Lord frustrated him by having Absolom not listen to him. As a result, Ahithophel no longer felt needed. His whole life and happiness revolved around his advice and his feelings. You could say they were his gods. When they were gone, he hanged himself.
What is your god? What do you turn to refuge in every need? Do you turn to the doctors or medicines when you get sick? Do you turn to your own money managing abilities when crop prices are low? Who do you turn to in time of need?
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