Scripture: Matt 27:
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, [c] lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
Observation: God never forsakes us.
Application: I have learned over the years that my perspectives and thoughts about things evolve and change. This verse represents one of those changes. I used to think that this was the one time in Jesus’ life that he experienced life without God. I thought that because at that moment on the cross Jesus took our sins upon himself, that God (because he is holy) turned away from Sin Stained Jesus.
As I continue in my life I see something different. There have been many times in my life when I felt like I was alone, and that God had forsaken me. There have been times when I have earnestly cried out these same words that Jesus spoke from the cross. But what I have come to realize is that even when I thought I was alone, I wasn’t alone. God was there with me. Even in my sin, God loved me. He didn’t like my actions, he didn’t condone my sin, but he loved me enough to be there with me through it.
Jesus was fully human, and fully God. It’s a concept that we sometimes struggle with as how he could be both at the same time. But its something I accept, and I know that if Jesus was fully human as he hung there on the cross, during those times of struggle and pain he must have felt that God had abandoned him. But the happy news is that even though Jesus felt as though God had abandoned him, in fact he was right there with him. Perhaps like it is at times for us, for Jesus then, it was the trouble of this world that blinded him to that fact.
It was certainly the first time that we know of when Jesus felt as though God had wasn’t there with him. But He was, and He demonstrated that as he brought him forth from the grave on Sunday morning. I think Jesus realized this after the resurrection, I think he knew that God had never left him. I can hear it in his own words to his disciples as he ascended into heaven to be with the Father. He was leaving them as far as they could see, to them it must have seemed like he was going away, but he said “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
You may feel as though God has abandoned you. You may think that because of your sins, God can not be with you. But you’re wrong my friend, God is there, he is watching out for you, and he is trying to reach you. You may say you don’t believe it, but that’s ok to because God believes in you enough to stay by your side no matter what.
Prayer: God who is with me always,
I thank you for your abiding presence and your promise to never leave me. Even when I run from you, you will not leave me. Help me to see every day that you are there in the good times and in the bad, in the ups and in the downs, when I’m on the mountain and when I’m in the valley YOU oh Lord are there.