The paramedics arrived and I had to leave you on that cold floor. My boy was now a crime scene. Our little family of six-minus-one huddled together in the middle of the living room rug. Daddy’s arms were attempting to hold us all, weeping and praying, but all I could cry out was, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It took two years to realize the significance of those words and that Yahweh had given them to me as a gift. Many may know that Jesus cried out that phrase on the cross, but many may not know this–  like all other boys his age Jesus would have spent his years memorizing the Psalms in synagogue school. The standard practice of His day was to recite them out loud. But only the first line of any Psalm had to be spoken for everybody within earshot to say the rest in their head. It was instinctive.

Guess what the first line of Psalm 22 is?

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Jesus wasn’t just asking a question while He suffered, He was comforting Himself with God’s Words to help Him make it through the horror. He was declaring the whole truth of that Psalm to every fellow Jew watching His end. Because after that first line, they all would have known the rest by heart. And like a breadcrumb, He left me a clue when I cried out that same thing the day you died.

I can’t believe what I found when I followed my breadcrumb.

I found you. I found me. I found all the children who could not keep themselves alive.

And I saw a God who knew I’d need it, and let me find it two years later, in His perfect time.

Once I saw how this Psalm was comforting to Jesus, I could use it the same way. I had to choose specific verses here for the sake of space, but Psalm 22 is worth reading in its entirety with this in mind. Six truths stood out to me among many.

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

1. Jesus describes His current state, forsaken. He found no rest the night before. Can you see Him in the garden sweating drops of blood the night before He died? Instead of sleeping, He was ‘sorrowful unto death’. Have we not felt that way swimming in our tears, passing the night in trauma?

Yet You are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and You delivered them.
To You they cried and were rescued;
in You they trusted and were not put to shame.

2. Despite His state, His hope lies in two things, who God is — Holy– and what He did for others in the past. Jesus looks at history and sees that God  ordained circumstances that led to rescue and deliverance for His beloved children. God answered them every single time. God would not fail to answer now. Do horrible things happen to God’s children? Well, who needs deliverance except those oppressed? Who needs rescuing except those at peril?  Are we not ourselves oppressed by sorrow? Are we not in peril of disbelief and hopelessness? God redeemed these things for all of His beloved in the past, He will do it for us.

7 All who see Me mock Me;
they make mouths at Me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver Him;
let Him rescue him, for He delights in Him!”

13 they open wide their mouths at Me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.

3. Jesus recounts prophecy, knowing God had ordained His circumstances from the foundation of the world. Even this evil, God had foreordained, knowing every look, deed, and word that would be said against His beloved Son. Can you not hear satan throwing out these words at Christ? Jesus is finally where satan wants Him. Defeated and dying, alone and forsaken. Now is the time for the roaring lion to throw everything he’s got at Jesus through the words of the mockers surrounding the cross.

16b they have pierced My hands and feet—

17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over Me;
18 they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots

4. Just as God sets the boundary for the sea “thus far you shall come and no farther”, God sets the boundaries for any evil He allows in our lives, thus far you shall come and no farther. Every deed, every word uttered against Christ was known, foreordained, and some were recorded here as proof that God was in charge, not man.

Yet you are He who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

5. God had been the Author of Jesus’ life on earth since the Incarnation and even then it was known what would befall Him…For this purpose Jesus had come into the world. He trusted God at the beginning of His earthly story, He could trust Him now in the culmination of it.

11 Be not far from Me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.

24 For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before You.

6. What starts out as a plea for help, turns into a declaration of how God has already done it. Jesus was so sure based on God’s character and how God had acted in the past, that Jesus declares the end already won. The most beautiful part is that because of what was happening on that cross, Jesus could comfort Himself with all that His sacrifice would accomplish. And He speaks of it as having already happened.

7. And here you are, Tristy. With all the other children who could not keep themselves alive. Here they all are…

29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before Him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve Him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that He has done it.

A people yet unborn. Jesus was thinking of YOU while He was hanging on that cross, He spoke of my boy. And He gave me these truths in Psalm 22 to sustain me until we bow down to Him together. We will eat, we will bow, we will worship the One who was forsaken on our behalf. For He has done it.