Set Us Free

This fourth song of the “Seven Last Words” project has Jesus speaking some of the most desolate words of the Bible: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34) So why is my musical setting so upbeat? (“Irresistibly catchy” is what my son called it–and I think he meant it in a good way.)

The words Jesus uttered from the cross are actually a direct quote from Psalm 22. Back in Jesus’ time, they didn’t have Psalm numbers, so they just used the first phrase as a title. So Jesus was giving us a clue–“look in Psalm 22.” There we find the Psalmist surrounded by enemies but ultimately saved from the grasp of death.

If Jesus could trust God even on the cross, certainly we can cry out for deliverance even in the middle of pain, doubt, and despair.

We have suffered, but have not been forsaken;
brought low, but not left alone.
We’re surrounded by darkness, despair of the night,
but not without promise of dawn.

We will trust in the Lord.
God will set us free.
For the death that surrounds us is rising to life.
You will set us free.
You will set us free.

Stay with us in our darkest night
Stay, Lord, stay. Lord, please stay by our side.

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