Each day of Holy Week, we will post a devotional reflection on the 7 last words of Christ from the cross.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The pain of love lost is directly dependent upon longevity and intimacy. The longer you know someone and the more intimately you know someone determines the devastation of abandonment.
If so, then love has never suffered more. Infinite knowledge and flawless intimacy, the perfect fellowship of the holy Trinity, experienced abandonment. None but the Triune God will ever know the agony of this moment.
“My God, my God.”
This is the only time Jesus addresses His Father as God. In some mysterious way that we can never understand, the Son, for a moment, is forsaken. Heaven’s Prince now heaven’s outcast, the glory of God now the shame of man, the Son of God now cursed of God.
I’ll cut to the chase—Jesus is in hell.
How did this happen? How did it come to this? How, in God’s name, does the Son of God find Himself abandoned by God?
The answer, if you can bear to face it, is you. And me. We are the reason for history’s worst moment.
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Those are my words. The horror of God’s abandonment is my fate. And yet Jesus, the undeserving One, is living my hell.
He cries out to heaven, but heaven is silent. God isn’t even there to answer His question, but you can. Answer it. Why has God forsaken Jesus?
So that He will never have to forsake you.
Jesus is purchasing for you that breathtaking promise of God, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” God has no business talking to us like that, but because of our precious Savior He does.
Jesus was cast off that we might be brought in, endured God’s violent rejection that we might know God’s warm welcome, surrendered to hell’s worst that we might receive heaven’s best.
It’s all so overwhelming that we don’t even know how to respond, but I can tell you how not to respond. Don’t you dare dishonor the Savior’s sacrifice by doubting God’s favor.
I can’t think of anything more insulting to Jesus than for us to distrust the effectiveness of His abandonment. The Son of God forsaken that we might be welcomed, and yet we doubt our welcome?
Shame on us!
Jesus was forsaken that God may never forsake you. Accept it. Never doubt it. And spend eternity thanking Him for it.
-Rev. Robert Cunningham (@tcpcrobert on twitter)