Words From the Cross- Part 4

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

Mark 15:34

Jesus suffered six hours on the cross from 9 am-3 pm; and cried out with a loud voice these words which He drew from King David’s psalm (22:1)“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” At the typically brightest part of day,three hours of unnatural darkness had come upon the earth—it was during the third hour of this darkness that Jesus cried out in pain and loneliness of spiritual and mental torment due to the sin that He bore on our behalf. For the first time, a separation between the Father and the Son had taken place; and He suffered the pain and separation that we—not He—deserved!

It is noteworthy that at this point, Jesus used the term “My God” rather than “Father”…a departure from the warm term of close relationship that He had always used to address God. Some have maintained that Jesus was not really abandoned by God; that it was only His perception due to indescribable suffering. Yet, Jesus was not subject to emotions nor was He given to hyperbole; He could not be deceived, nor would He believe a lie. We can hardly grasp the horror and filthiness of the sins in His cup, nor the magnitude of wrath poured out on all the evil by a holy and just God. Jesus was in fact, truly isolated—totally alone (“forsaken”) in the universe; but the price was paid…righteous wrath was satisfied, and we are the beneficiaries. 2 Corinthians 5:21 sums it up this way, “For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

In light of all of this, how much more precious and reassuring is Jesus’ promise that He would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5); and, it is also greatly reassuring to remember that Psalm 22 ends in hope and triumph: