TO CHEW ON: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" - Matthew 27:46
Jesus and God the Father were always incredibly close. Even at twelve years, Jesus wanted to be in his Father's house and seemed surprised that His parents hadn't thought to look there first when He was discovered missing on their journey back to Nazareth.
At Jesus' baptism the Father, in "a voice from heaven" alerted the onlookers to their relationship: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
Jesus was always going off somewhere to spend time with His Father. He'd get up early, spend all night, stay behind, go off by Himself just so He could be with Him.
Again at Jesus' transfiguration, God the Father broke through to the human bystanders in the proud pronouncement: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
So when Jesus cried from the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" we know something very serious was up.
And why Had God the Father forsaken His beloved Son? Because that Son had become something the Father could not look at. Jesus became utterly abhorrent to God when He took our sins on Him.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Why did Jesus and God allow that to happen? Because:
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life' - John 3:16
Explained eloquently by J. I. Packer:
"God's love to sinners was expressed by the gift of His Son to be their Saviour. The measure of love is how much it gives and the measure of the love of God is the gift of His only Son to be made man, and to die for sins, and so to become the one mediator who can bring us to God. No wonder Paul speaks of God's love as "great," and passing knowledge (Ephesians 2:4; 3:19). Was there ever such costly munificence?" - Knowing God, p. 138-9.
PRAYER: Dear God, Thank You for sending Jesus. Jesus, thank You for enduring the utter desolation of my sin and death on the cross and so that I can be reconciled to God. Amen.
MORE: Good Friday
Today the church celebrates Jesus' crucifixion. We call it "Good Friday."
The Good Friday liturgy begins with this collect:
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Andrew Peterson's song "The Silence of God" portrays how we feel when it seems God is giving us the silent treatment. At such times perhaps the best thing for us to do is follow Jesus' example and keep praying.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.