Crossroads Prison Ministry gifted us mentors with a book: Jesus Sang On The Cross by Dr. Randy T. Johnson, published by The River Church, Holly, Michigan. The last book I’ve read, only 101 pages was just right for the time I had to spare.
The author believes Jesus was singing Psalm 22 when he cried out from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”. We’ve been told this was the only time Father God was separated from Jesus the Son; which seemed to make sense. Johnson thinks Jesus was beginning the singing of Psalm 22 and those around him who had sung the songs since childhood joined in. This Psalm was King David’s revelation from the LORD about the sacrifice Messiah would make. The significant details of the happenings recorded in the Gospels align with Psalm 22, written so many generations before it happened. Johnson posits that God never left Jesus. Let’s dig into the Psalm.
1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
This part implies God has not shown that He heard at all!
3 But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5 They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
This section testifies to God’s deliverance in generations past and His holiness, enthroned on His people’s praises.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
Here is where the abuse and reproach of Jesus is detailed.
9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
This passage testifies how God has been there all of His life; trouble is near and no one else can help; but I believe Jesus knew God was still there.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
This describes those on-lookers; I think the people close to the cross were touched deeply by these words as they saw Jesus experiencing this.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
Scientists have shown how the body of one on the cross would experience these things; remember, in David’s time, there was no Roman death on a cross.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
Here we see what the soldiers were doing with Jesus’ clothes and what the on- lookers saw.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
Here is the appeal for God to save Him from these perils. Verse 21 continues: “You have answered Me.“
The rest of Psalm 22 is extolling high praise for God being there for Jesus. I’ll let you read that for yourself and end with the last paragraph of hope for all of us:
30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.
Victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever! Dr. Randy T. Johnson’s purpose with this book is to encourage us in these times that God never leaves or turns His back on us. We can trust Him and proclaim His goodness to all generations! Join me in rejoicing and growing deeper in God’s love.
Look this book up on Amazon; it’s only $7.00 and well-worth your time to read. I like the pages at the beginning of the chapters where he introduces the section of the Psalm he’s on and the musical score that weaves through the pages. There are also interesting facts to enhance the scenes like: “10 interesting facts about water”, Guinness World Records most pierced man and woman, and how many bones- how many times- Evel Knievel broke in his wild motorcycle jumps…among other things. Randy did a much better job expounding on the Psalm; this is just a small taste.
I pray I have encouraged you, even if you don’t get to read this book. We all need to speak not just the facts, but the truth in these days of confusion. Keep praying; God’s will shall prevail! Oh, have you registered to vote yet???