The Power of a Word

by Apr 10, 2020Devotional, Easter, Echoes of Easter

Read Psalm 22:1


I love the power of words. Even though a single word isn’t enough to tell a story, one word is powerful enough to stir our emotions. Words like forsaken and alone can evoke memories, and those memories create strong emotions. For introverts, the idea of being alone may bring pleasant emotions. If we were left at the senior prom, our emotions may be less positive.  

The word “forsaken” means to be abandoned. It’s the word David uses to describe his experience with God in Psalm 22:1. I don’t know about you, but David’s words remind me of times when I have felt like God was far off. And those memories bring about profound feelings of sadness or loneliness. While David’s words may spark our memories of the past, they are a street-sign directing us to Jesus.

What David writes figuratively, Jesus experiences literally. “A company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet” (Psalm 22: 16). As Jesus hangs on the cross by the nails that pierce His hands and feet, He bears the weight of the world’s sin. On the cross, Jesus cries out, just as David had, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The apostle Paul explains, “[God] did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all…” (Romans 8:32). As Jesus cries out, God abandons His one and only Son to bring those who have abandoned Him close.

As I think about the word forsaken in the context of Jesus, the word takes on new meaning; my memories and emotions shift. When I hear that word, I am reminded that Jesus was forsaken so we would be redeemed and I am overwhelmed with joy.

I may still feel far from God from time to time, but because of Jesus I am reminded that experience has to do with my perspective, not God’s position. We need not fear being forsaken, because the name of Jesus has the power to redeem.

The name of Jesus can stir our emotions unlike any other word. Of all words, He is the Word. As we celebrate Easter, what emotions do you find come to the surface?

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