Gethsemane, A Roaring, and A Question
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Psalm 22:1
“For Plaintive expressions uprising from unutterable depths of woe we may say of this Psalm, “there is none like it.” It is the photograph of our Lord’s saddest hours, the record of His dying words…” Spurgeon on Psalm 22
Alas, it has been some time since I have sat fingers to the keyboard. Not because the Lord hasn’t been speaking to my heart, but honestly, every time I sit to express my feeling, I am at a loss. Believe it or not, many times I find it difficult to wrap words around these feelings. Those of you who know me personally will find the humor in that.
I am now sitting in a restaurant in Paragominas, Brazil, people all around me eating their breakfast, going about their day, and yet in my spirit, I am in Gethsemane, the “Olive Press”. My heart hasn’t left this place of the “Olive Press” for some time now. I constantly find my heart slipping into that place, the most vulnerable state we ever find Jesus, where He Himself states, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Matt 26:36
Gethsemane is truly a photograph of our suffering Savior. Luke tells us that He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me, yet not My will, but Yours be done.” As Jesus prayed, it was so intense, His sweat was like drops of blood to the ground!
What was this cup? Was it the nails He would soon feel in His wrist? Was it the crown of thorns they would force on His brow? Was it the words that would be vomited at Him? As excruciatingly painful as that had to be, as we have only seen in part displayed in many movies and church productions, I don’t believe that is what Jesus was agonizing over in Gethsemane, the place of pressing, the place of crushing!
All of those things would be mere drops in the bucket compared to the cup that Jesus would drink, the cup of death, the cup of separation, mere moments away. The price He would pay in place of fallen man. The moment when God, the Father of Eternity, would turn His Face from His Son, and His Son would roar in anguish! “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
In this, Psalm 22, David was allowed to peer through a prophetic window and experience with Jesus, the pangs of death. Every time I read these words, my heart groans within me. Does one even venture into the truth of this “sound,” this “roar of anguish” from the Darling of Heaven? You see, every other time Jesus refers to God, He refers to Him as Father, but at this very moment, the moment Jesus becomes sin, the moment He’s separated from His Father, He refers to Him as God.
To a Son He is Father…to a sinner He is a God.
The Triune being never knew separation; they have always been one. Jesus never tasted sin, nor did Jesus ever know a fallen state. Man, however, found himself bankrupt and in a state of death, therefore, Jesus said He would pay the price before the foundation of the world! (Rev 13:8) He would die a sinner’s death, and for the first time in Eternity, the Son would be separated from His Father!
Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would know that type of love. That the Love that is in God would be in us, and we would know no separation! This is an astonishing truth! This desire drove Jesus to leave the corridors of Heaven and put on flesh to die in our place. Jesus was born to die!
Part of me believes, as Jesus was in that garden, not only was He looking toward the cross, but also His thoughts had to return to the first Garden, the Garden of Eden. Our story begins and ends with a Garden…first, in a place of paradise, a place of communion, the very place where Divinity and Humanity share sweet intimacy…and finally, where Jesus would bend His will to the will of the Father and die on a cross.
Jesus, being God in the flesh, had to have remembered in that instant, the very moment He entered the garden to have communion with His first son, Adam, only to find him in hiding. What a horrible day that had to be when the Creator came to meet with His creation, to find them hiding in their shame and sin!
“Where are you?” echoed throughout eternity as God’s voice ached for His beloved creation. God, being Omniscient, had to know where they were; I believe He wanted them to know where they were, as well. They were lost. They were empty. They were naked and hiding! And this is the very reason why Jesus came, to be a breach between the Father and His creation! Jesus paid a very high price to reunite Humanity and Divinity.
From this very place, I encourage you all to read Psalm 22. Dare to peer through the looking glass of prophetic history and see Jesus, hear the Pain of His Roaring! This is the “sound of separation.” Jesus, being our example and perfect theology, should make us long in desperation to have no place of separation in our lives.
I pray that we would all long and groan for His presence! We were made for this, to know the Love of God and be united in His Presence. Just as Jesus roared and cried out for God when He experienced death, we, too, should be miserable without Him! I pray as you read this now, hear the words of our Father God crying, “Where are you?” And instead of running and hiding, walk through Jesus and run to Him!
In His Fire,