I was reading through Matthew’s coverage of the Crucifixion a few days back. As Christians we tend to focus on the horrendous physical pain, stress and abuse that Jesus endured because of our sin.
What is often overlooked is the consequences of our sin that Jesus saved us from. Death is one of those, but I believe much worse than that was separation from the Father. For a moment before His last breath, Jesus felt abandoned on that cross.
From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (MSG)
In other translations of the bible, it is also written as, “why have you forsaken me?”
What does it mean to forsake someone? I looked up some of the synonyms for forsake: abandon, desert, leave, leave high and dry, turn one’s back on, cast aside.
I believe this moment of separation had to be more painful than the any of the accusations, beating, whipping, and abuse that Jesus suffered at the hands of men.
It reminded me, and added extra weight to God’s promise in Heb 13:5, that He would never leave us, or forsake us. After what Jesus went through on the cross, He does not want us to suffer in the same way.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means that we never have to be separated from our God and Father in heaven. Reconciliation is our move to make.