Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 22 slowly and thoughtfully. Then, come back and read the following verse again.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1 ESV)
I love the Bible. I enjoy reading it but, truth be told, I feel like most of the time it reads me. It is a living and active work indeed. Sometimes though, you come across a passage that is so weighty, so intense, so heart-wrenching, that you literally want to slam the book shut before it tramples over you. Psalm 22 is one of those passages.
Before the Scriptures had chapter numbering, the Psalms were known and referred to by their first line and not by their number. When Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” from the cross as recorded in Matthew 27:46, all of the Jews in earshot would have known that He was drawing their attention to Psalm 22. He was crying out to those who were listening and letting them know that Psalm 22 was about Him. Many would have been horrified as they realized that Jesus was the prophesied suffering Servant so vividly described in that Psalm.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire Psalm again and then read Matthew 27. It is astonishing how the crucifixion fulfills everything that was promised. There was the One who was spoken about—who would bring new hope to all nations—and He did it by being brutally assassinated on a Roman tree. He bought our redemption by being our Sacrifice.
Just look at what He did:
He was forsaken so that we can experience everlasting faithfulness.
He was ignored so that our prayers will always be answered.
He was scorned and despised so that we can experience deep love.
He was mocked so that we can be unashamed.
He was poured out so that we can be filled up by His Spirit.
He experienced dislocation so that we can be grafted into a new body.
He had a broken heart so that we can walk in wholeness.
He was weak so that our strength can rise.
He was surrounded by evil so that we can experience His surrounding protection.
Oh the weight.
Our crucified King.
Look at what He has done.
Oh Father, when I pause to think that Your Son was forsaken so that I could be brought into Your family, I am overwhelmed. Teach me Lord to dwell in the shadow of Your Son’s wonderful cross.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)