Cry Out To God

A great majority of people do not understand that much of Jesus’ suffering was by mental torture inflicted upon him by all those who brutalized his mind and body. Imagine standing before people whom you have created, loved, and sought to draw to yourself; only to hear their great hatred and calls for your death. To be rejected, scorned, abandoned, and betrayed are perhaps some of the most painful and heart-wrenching experiences a person can endure. Jesus’ steadfast thoughts throughout this entire process was directed at loving the very people who shouted for His death. He looked back over the past 4,000 years, as well as, ahead; over 2,000 years, to all those who would receive His love and invitation to have their sins carried away by His great sacrifice; and He was glad to die for us all.

The emotional suffering that Jesus endured was equal to, or exceedingly greater than, the physical torture wrought upon His body. It is certain that no person has ever suffered as profoundly as Jesus anguished during these 24 hours of horror. He had done nothing wrong, yet the full weight of all the sins of the world were placed upon Him. He did all this willingly, gladly, exceptionally—for He could do nothing else but give all that He had. From His great heart of love and compassion, Jesus placed His eternal existence before the world and allowed evil men to torture Him to death. He did all of these things so that He could demonstrate how enormous the love of God is; for every person—even those who thrust the thorns, tore His flesh, and pierced His body.

David writes that during this horrific ordeal in which the Messiah will suffer unimaginable suffering, He will “cry out” to God.

Psalms 22:2 “O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent…”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27:50 “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”

“I cry out”

There is a possible dual meaning in this second verse of Psalm 22 and therefore a dual fulfillment:

He will cry out to God during His crucifixion.
He will be crucified in the late afternoon or twilight.

The Hebrew definition of twilight (afternoon) here in Psalm 22:2, was slightly different from our current understanding of twilight, defined as the period of time just after the sun moves past the horizon and is hidden. In the mind of the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament, twilight extended from 3-6 p.m.[1]

The term I cry in the daytime, originates from the Greek word yom, which can also be translated as afternoon..[2]

Jesus cried out: My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, in the afternoon.

Psalms 22:1 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

According to the Book of Exodus, the Passover Lamb was killed at twilight, which could occur anytime between 3-6 p.m. in the afternoon.

Exodus 12:3,6 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household… Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.’ ”

Jesus was crucified in the late afternoon, at about 3 p.m., the twilight.

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice…

Along with the many qualifications of the Passover Lamb: Firstborn, Without Blemish, and a Male, there was a requirement that the Lamb be offered during the twilight hours of the late afternoon or early evening.

The New Testament is very specific that Jesus was placed on the cross at the sixth hour. Jewish time was marked by the beginning of the day or the first hour, being 6 a.m. The sixth hour is 12 noon. The testimony regarding the crucifixion of Jesus is that from the sixth hour (12 noon) till the ninth hour (3 p.m.), there was darkness over all the land.

Matthew 27:45-46 “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice…”

At about the ninth hour, Jesus dismisses His Spirit and dies…

Matthew 27:50 “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”

Jesus was forsaken by God

In fulfillment of this prophecy from Psalms 22:2, Jesus cried out to God from the cross as He was made sin for us and forsaken by God.

The real suffering that Jesus endured was not the six hours that He spent hanging on the cross. It was the mental and spiritual anguish that He felt as He was abandoned by God when He was made sin for us.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

The Father turned away from the Son when He was made sin for us. Just as we cannot have fellowship with God because of our sin, the Father could no longer have fellowship with the Son when He became our sins.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He (the Father) made Him (the Son) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

None of us could possibly understand what it was like for the Son of God to be separated from the Father when He died for us. Imagine the unbroken love and fellowship that has existed for countless eons, suddenly interrupted for the first time in eternity—because our sins were placed upon Jesus.

Jesus did this for us because of His great love. Even while we were still sinners, Jesus was willing to die for us.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…

This requirement that Jesus become all of our sins was the greatest suffering that He experienced. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked the father if He would take away this cup of sin and not require Him to drink from it. Jesus looked into the depths of its filth and vile abyss and desired not that He would become the horrors it contained. [3]

Luke 22:42-44 (Jesus) saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup (of sin) away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.… And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

The firm answer from heaven: there was no other way that we could be set free from our sins and obtain eternal life; except that Jesus take them all upon Himself. Jesus drank from this cup and pronounced that He would do the will of the Father and bear our sins.

A very rare medical condition observed:

The stress and anguish of this moment caused a medical condition to manifest itself in Jesus’ body, which is nearly unheard of except under the most severe of traumatic conditions.

We know that the writer of the third gospel of the New Testament was a Physician. Luke records the events of the crucifixion from the unique perspective of a medical doctor. The anxiety and distress that Jesus experienced in His body was so great that He sweat “great drops of blood.”

Only Luke, records this event: This is further internal evidence of authenticity; that only the medical doctor records this event in Jesus death.

Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

The phenomenon of sweating drops of blood is called Hematidrosis. Tiny capillaries in the sweat glands break open and mix blood with sweat during moments of intense stress.[4]

Jesus was willing to bear this suffering because it was the only way that you and I could experience the forgiveness of our sins and have the opportunity to live forever in the glorious presence of heaven.

We should understand that Psalm 22 is clearly describing the crucifixion of the Messiah.

There are a total of 17 prophecies from Psalm 22 which are within in this book, describing the events that surround the death of the Messiah.

1. The Messiah will be forsaken by God because He will take the world’s sin upon Himself. Psalms 22:1 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

2. (This prophecy): The Messiah will cry out to God during His suffering. Psalms 22:2 “O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent…”

3. The Messiah will be despised, rejected, abused, and considered a worm, even less than a man. Psalms 22:6 “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.”

4. Amazing detail of the Messiah’s rejection: The people will shoot out their lip and shake their heads at their disgust with Him. Psalms 22:7 “All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head…”

5. The people who witness the crucifixion of the Messiah will say, He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him. Psalms 22:8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

6. The Messiah was born for the express purpose of being the Savior of the world. Psalms 22:9-10 “But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.”

7. The Messiah will be crucified and die from a ruptured heart. Psalms 22:13-17 “They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.

8. The Messiah will thirst while on the cross. Psalms 22:13-17 “… And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.”

9. Those who see the Messiah being crucified will hate Him and mock Him. Psalms 22:16 “For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.”

10. The hands and feet of the Messiah will be pierced. Psalm 22:16 “They pierced My hands and My feet…”

11. The Messiah will be stripped of His clothing and be naked before the world. Psalms 22:17-18 “I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

12. The garments of the Messiah will be divided and gambled for by those who watch Him die. Psalms 22:18 “They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

13. Despite all of God’s wrath being poured out on the Messiah, He commits Himself to God and trust in Him to exonerate Him after He makes His life a sacrifice. Psalms 22:19-21 “But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me.”

14. The devil will seek to kill the Messiah at the cross and end His plan for the salvation of men. Psalms 22:20-21 “Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me.”

15. It will be by the death and resurrection of the Messiah that the whole world will learn of the Grace and Love of God. Psalms 22:22 “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”

16. Because of the Messiah’s victory at the cross, He shall be given dominion and rulership over all the nations of the world. Psalms 22:27-29 “All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’S, And He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth Shall eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust Shall bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep himself alive.”

17. The Messiah will have eyewitnesses who will testify of His life, death, and resurrection. Both they and others who will believe later will take His gospel to all the people of the earth by their testimony. Psalms 22:30-31 “A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, That He has done this.”

Could we imagine what it was like for Jesus to experience the intense suffering that He endured for six hours upon the cross? It is for certain that not one of us could understand the true anguish of separation that Jesus felt when God turned away from Him; as He became all our sins. For me, in that first moment when I stand before Jesus, I will look into His eyes and try to understand what it was like when everything was taken from Him, just so that I could be there with Him on that day.


[1] Dictionary of Biblical Imagery edited by Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman II
[2] NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries.
[3] “Jesus would not have been as concerned with the physical pain of his death as with the spiritual desolation of bearing our sin and its judgment on the cross” Expositors Bible Commentary”.
[4] Holoubek, JE; Holoubek AB (1996). “Blood, sweat and fear. “A classification of hematidrosis””. Journal of Medicine 27 (3–4): 115–33. PMID 8982961