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Palm Sunday: Jesus Prays to God

Daniel Jurmu | The Voice of Zion April 2022 --

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. — Psalms 22:1–5

The texts for Palm Sunday speak of the King of Glory’s lowly way. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, but also experienced temptations and the ridiculing unbelief of the world (Heb. 4:15). On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of an ass, in humility. Our text reminds us that as Jesus suffered during His last moments on the cross He cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). We recognize that as He cried this, He was quoting this Psalm of David, written generations before.

Jesus painfully had to endure death on behalf of the sins of humankind. He also prayed to our heavenly Father in times of difficulty. In Gethsemane, He prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39). We too, can place our complete trust in God’s care and in His will.

Forsaken by God

Our text, perhaps written by David or for David, begins with the questions and doubts that come when one is pressed down or overwhelmed with grief and sorrow. We can often feel in difficult and trying times that God has forgotten us and left us to suffer alone in grief and sorrow. The enemy of souls can also begin to place doubts into the minds of the afflicted. The further Satan can draw us away from the center of the sheepfold, the easier it becomes to ensnare us. The psalmist later writes in the 22nd chapter, “Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help” (Ps. 22:11).

We recognize that trouble is all around us, but the power of God helps and sustains us. We are reminded through the words of Jesus that God does not forsake us but rather, He lovingly calls and invites us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). We have a great refuge here in God’s kingdom.

Plea for Help

The second verse in this Psalm of David relates of prayers and pleas to God. Especially in times of trial or difficulty we find ourselves pleading to God for help. God has given us the gift of prayer and has promised to hear all our prayers, even the faintest sigh (Ps. 55:17).

Jesus, who was the Son of God, also prayed during His time here on the earth. Even though He was true God, He had the need to pray, and we too can be encouraged to continue steadfast in prayer. James 5:16 assures us, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” God hears our prayers and gives according to His will.

May we desire to have a heart of faith and accept what comes from God’s hand. In Romans 8:26 we are reminded that we don’t even know what we should pray for, but we can be so thankful that the Spirit prays on our behalf. We trust that God knows what is best for our lives and He answers our prayers according to His will.

Trust in God

When we place our complete trust in God we receive blessings and protection. Proverbs 3:5 encourages us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Also in Psalms 25:2 it says, “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in righteousness.” When we trust our hearts – and our lives – to God and allow him to lead us and guide us, Proverbs assures us “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (3:6).

The generations that have gone before trusted in God and were not led astray but were blessed in their life. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews reminds us of those Old Testament believers who traveled by faith and trusted in God. Verse 13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seeing them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” May we cling to this faith that one day will take us to the shore of heaven.

Jesus came unto this earth and fulfilled the salvation plan for sinners according to His Father’s will. He came and served in a lowly and meek way, so even the weakest and poorest could believe. When Jesus comes again, at the final judgment, He will come in all might and glory. It will be the day that a child of God has yearned and longed for. Let us patiently wait for that day with faith and hope in our heart. In Revelations it encourages us to cling and hold unto this gift of faith, “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11).

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