Day 28 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

SCRIPTURE

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour, And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

– Matthew 27:45- 46

DEVOTIONAL

“The meaning of the incarnation is plainly revealed in the question of Jesus on the cross: ‘My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?’“ – Karl Barth

Jesus knows the human experience of questioning God, of wondering why God has apparently abandoned us. Wondering why God won’t come to our aid and rescue.

When tragedy, pain or hardship strikes the questions come. Like Jesus we may question God’s absence. We may question God’s care or concern for us. To call for help and not receive it, to not feel God’s presence at our lowest, most devastated moment–this is the human experience that finds meaning in Jesus’ statement.

Up until this point, Jesus, the God human, has been without sin. But when Jesus takes sin upon himself, the Holy Spirit who has been Jesus’ guide departs from the human consciousness of Jesus. When God’s presence goes, the light goes out. Surrounded by outward darkness Jesus feels inner darkness as well.

Jesus is dying a death in “God abandonment”. This is the completion of the surrender that began in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is drinking his cup to the dregs.

Jesus took within himself—and thus into God’s experience—abandonment–rejection. The separation from God that was Adam and Eve’s in the Garden of Eden is now God’s experience. Jesus’ death in “God abandonment” breaks the curse. The human experience of God’s rejection is taken into God’s self. The separation that is ours is no longer! Because of this moment we are brought close. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (1 Corinthians 5:21)

Because Jesus died a death in God abandonment, we will never be separated from God.

As the apostle Paul writes, “I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” – Romans 8:38-39 (TPT)

–Saranell K. Hartman

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