And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ~Matthew 27:46
Our passage this morning is one of the saddest and most disturbing verses of Scripture. It is the enactment of Psalm 22:1. It is one of the seven last statements that Jesus made when He was on the cross. In fact, it is one of the last things that Jesus cried out from the cross before the spear would be thrust into His side and He would be declared dead. What does it mean to be forsaken? Why did God the Father forsake God the Son?
There is the feeling.
Jesus was all alone. He was suffering on the cross all by Himself. All of His disciples had fled away. Judas betrayed Him without any shame or remorse. The Jews who had cheered Him when He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem were now the ones jeering and trashing Him. Jesus had been suffering on the cross for six long, agonizing hours. The worst part of all of this was the experience of being abandoned, deserted, and forsaken. There is a sadness and depression that overcomes us when we feel forsaken. There is a feeling of hopelessness when we are left all to ourselves. You see, Jesus understands all of our troubles! Your darkest moment of despair, of having been deserted or forsaken, He understands because He went through it as well. Every child whose parents have forsaken him, every married person who was blindsided by betrayal, every pastor who had a member turn and abandon him, and every person who was left to fail: Jesus was there, and He knows exactly how sad and hollow we feel.
There is the fulfillment.
This was perhaps the most difficult moment in eternity past. God the Father would not intervene to spare God the Son from death on the cross. The plan of God required that His only begotten Son would die as the perfect Lamb of God for sin. There would be no comfort. There would be no intervention. The death of Christ had to be fulfilled. This included Jesus recognizing that no angels would be sent to stop what was happening. God the Father precluded Himself from doing anything to stop the atonement for sins from being fulfilled. Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame for every sinner. Jesus tasted suffering and death for every sinner. The perfect and sinless Son of God died alone for us. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all” !
There is the finality.
Those words that Jesus cried out should have echoed in the ears of every person by the cross who had heard them. They should have stirred their emotions to realize that Psalm 22:1 was being fulfilled. Jesus was left on that cross to die for our sins. Just the thought that Jesus cried out for the Father’s intervention should have caused every witness there to realize that Jesus was the innocent and sinless Son of God Who took our place. We should have been the ones being put to death and forsaken for our sins. Instead, it was Jesus. In the end, God’s demands for sin were satisfied completely. No further sacrifice or substitutionary death was needed. Jesus perfectly accomplished God’s perfect will when He breathed His last breath and gave up the ghost.
Take a moment, and allow the Lord to stir your soul about the agonizing feeling of being forsaken that Jesus had endured. May it remind us that Jesus experienced the horror and nightmare of being deserted for every sinner. May it stir us to not abandon our place of prayer, Bible reading, and area of service for the Lord. Don’t be someone who walks out on Jesus!
Have a committed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 26-27