My God, My God, Why have you Forsaken Me?
“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27: 45-46
In the final hours of Jesus crucifixion, he calls out to the Father, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Jesus, being one with God, experiences for the first time, the pain and confusion of abandonment.
In life, most of us, even if we are not a particularly pious have called out these words, “Why God? Why did you do this to me? How could you leave me?” We have all felt alone, abandoned. We experience the weight of human sin, our own sin and the sin of others. It is crushing.
Jesus is without sin. He is pristine, immaculate. Think back to a time in which you felt happy. Perhaps you saw the beauty of the world around you or felt real love between people. This completeness is in Jesus all the time. Yet, Jesus on the cross calls out something so bewildering, so very human. He feels that God has left him. For that moment in history Jesus experienced something truly terrible – he was on his own.
Jesus was abandoned so that we never will be. This precious revelation changes everything. In those times when we call out to God in hurt, frustration, and despair, Jesus understands the pain we’re going through. For although he is sinless, he understands sin better than any of us, because bore the weight of it. He identifies with us and he died to bring us back into the loving arms of God. He did it so that we will never be forsaken, alone, or abandoned.
Tomorrow is Good Friday and Christians everywhere will remember the suffering servant. He was shrouded in darkness, covered in sin, and nailed to a tree. The God of our life, our hope, our truth, and our beauty was degraded unto his death. We will remember his cries and we can know with assurance that his love endures even to the edge of doom. Every moment of his suffering flowed from his infinite love for us. Nothing can keep us from God’s love, because of what Jesus did for us. St. Paul said it much better than I ever could, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). Thank you, Jesus for your suffering and your sacrifice.
I hope everyone has a blessed Easter weekend!