Ps.40:11 – You, LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your mercy and Your truth will continually watch over me.
This was a whole new experience for Jesus. He had lived surrounded by His Father’s love from eternity; to be utterly cast off from God’s love at Calvary was beyond anything the Lord had known. This was new territory for Him; He had never felt this loneliness before. At Gethsemane, He had seen the ramifications of death on a cross; now He was tasting it. This is the horrible pit that Jesus was experiencing. None of us have any idea what this was like.
In this passage we see Jesus calling out for His Father’s love. Even though this was only temporary, for Jesus it seemed like eternity. Here is how Spurgeon describes this scene.
“Alas! these were to be for awhile withheld from our Lord while on the accursed tree, but meanwhile in his great agony he seeks for gentle dealing; and the coming of the angel to strengthen him was a clear answer to his prayer. He had been blessed before in the desert, and now at the entrance of the valley of the shadow of death, like a true, trustful, and experienced man, he utters a holy, plaintive desire for the tenderness of heaven. He had not withheld his testimony to God’s truth, now in return he begs his Father not to withhold his compassion. This verse might more correctly be read as a declaration of his confidence that help would not be refused; but whether we view this utterance as the cry of prayer, or the avowal of faith, in either case it is instructive to us who take our suffering Lord for an example, and it proves to us how thoroughly he was made like unto his brethren.”
This is the foundation of the good news of the gospel. Jesus was separated from His Father’s love so that I could taste it for myself. He was judged for my sin that I could taste His mercy. Jesus went down into my pit of despair that I could be brought out forever. His mercy and truth have been watching over me so that I could dwell in His house forever. This good news is the subject of our brand new song. No wonder David said God had put a new song in his mouth.