Why Have You Forsaken Me?
“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthami?’ (which means, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’).
After three straight hours of darkness in the middle of the day Jesus breaks the silence with a loud voice while dying on the cross. The thought of God the Father, who had never been apart from the Son in this way, forsaking Jesus must have been worse than the nails, the crown of thorns, or the inability to breath. Through the pain, the humiliation, and the torture Jesus was most broken by the fact that His Father left Him alone. Jesus understood the torture people endured on the cross (it was a common form of execution in those times) but I can hear the pain in Jesus’ cry as a man separated from God in a way that only sin can cause and to a depth that only Jesus could have felt.
This moment on the cross we have a unique picture of the true cost of sin, eternal separation from God Himself. Jesus’ pain, his sacrifice, was not only to provide us hope for our salvation but security in the nearness of God today. Jesus endured the pain of separation from the Father we don’t have to endure it now. There are times we feel utterly alone, lost, confused, or abandoned by those we love, our friends, and the people we care about. In these final words on the cross there is the promise that God will NEVER forsake you and that He will NEVER abandon you because Jesus endured that abandonment for us.
Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for your willingness to endure the loneliness of the cross. Thank you that I don’t ever have to be truly alone because what you did. Father help me feel your nearness when I feel alone, abandoned, and forsaken in my life. Help me know that you are always near to me. Amen.
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