Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Way of the Cross (18)

They are perhaps the most poignant words in the whole Bible. Truly they are a great mystery that we can barely plumb the depths, and yet how precious, how powerful, those words from the cross:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

You see, as Jesus says those words on the cross, it's not a cry of despair, or a moment of doubt. He is intentionally quoting Psalm 22, drawing attention to this extended prophecy of the crucifixion, written so many hundred years before crucifixion had even been invented. We're going to take this Psalm as the basis for our thoughts for the next few days, such is its importance on the way of the cross.

For us, it is a complete mystery how the Lord Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, could be forsaken and separated from God the Father. We just can't imagine how it works, and we're not told how it happened. Yet Jesus' words show us that it did happen - that as he hung on the cross, bearing our sins, he was cut off from God. Forsaken, abandoned.

The just and holy God could not look on his Son, made sin for us. The beloved Son was removed from his Father's pleasure, as he bore our sin. The Lord Jesus truly experienced hell, so that we never will, as we trust in him.

As the Newsboys song puts it:

I'm forgiven because You were forsaken
I'm accepted, You were condemned

We may not fully understand how, but we know why - for us and our sins, so that we can be welcomed and reconciled to God, the Lord Jesus was cut off. Amazing Love indeed!


  1. Of the saying on the cross this is the one that always strikes me the most. The pain of the cross must have been unbearable but the pain of being forsaken must have been torment. What a great Saviour we have.

  2. You're spot on, Tcsoko. We tend to focus on the physical pain, but the darkness hides the deeper pain of the cross, the forsakenness for us.