Read Matthew 27:46.
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
That cry of dereliction is something we will never fully grasp. It was a cry within the being of the Triune God.
As I’ve heard it explained, Jesus was so marred by the sin of the entire world past, present and future, that God, the Father, had to turn his face away from his beloved Son. As I see it, he could not bear to see the depravity of the world taken on by the holy blemishless Lamb of God.
This is the only time Jesus address the “Father” as “God.” I don’t think we’ll ever know the dynamics of that moment. But, in those words, the utter desolation Jesus experienced comes through plainly. Jesus experienced the wrath that we deserved by bearing our sin. Jesus gave up his right of intimacy with his Father.
This was the reason he wept and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Yet, beneath it all, is the fact that Jesus endured the Cross, scorning its shame for the “joy set before him.”
Bringing It Home
Do I allow the loneliness and abandonment of the Cross to take hold of my heart?
Jesus, I’ll never be able to understand that exact moment when in the darkness you uttered that cry of dereliction. But because of that loneliness you experienced I will never have to walk alone. I’m accepted because you were forsaken. I’m forgiven because you were condemned. Amazing grace, how can it be? Amen.
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