Jesus. Precious Jesus. He hung on the cross, having just endured some of the greatest physical pain one can endure, humiliated, abandoned by His friends, and now taking the sin of the world upon Himself. And in that moment He cried out to His Father. The One to whom He has always turned. The One with whom He is one.
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Imagine the pain. Emotional. Physical. Spiritual.
And then Jesus, precious Jesus, breathed His last.
Have you ever felt forsaken? Perhaps by God Himself?
How long O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn to me and answer me, O Lord my God! Light up my eyes or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, ‘We have defeated him!’ Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me. Psalm 13
Listen to the words of David. He feels forgotten. Forsaken. By God no less. Wondering how long; begging God for deliverance. Can you relate?
In this Psalm, as in so many others, David honestly pours out His heart before God. And then there is an extremely important turning point.
BUT I will trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
In the midst of feeling forsaken and forgotten, David reminds himself of truth. Of who God is and what He has done.
In our moments of desperation, we must do the same thing. Perhaps we, like David, like Jesus, feel forsaken. But GOD HAS NOT FORSAKEN US. We can look to the truth of God’s Word and see that even though David and Jesus felt abandoned, in those moments, God WAS AT WORK.
When Jesus felt utterly forsaken, as He took the sin of the world upon Himself, as He breathed His last, something extraordinary happened.
And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mark 15:38
Up until this time, the High Priest had to go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement to ask for forgiveness for the sins of both himself and the people. This Most Holy Place was where the presence of God would dwell. It was separated in the tabernacle by a veil. An enormous veil that would have been about 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 4 inches thick. This veil separated the people from the presence of God and only the High Priest could go inside on behalf of the people.
Then Jesus, the Son of God, breathed His last. The veil was torn. And in that moment, Jesus made a way for you and me to come directly into the presence of God.
… we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh … let us then draw near with a since heart … let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-20, 22-23
Despite the fact that Jesus felt forsaken, God had not forsaken Him. He was doing an amazing and beautiful redeeming work, making a way for you and me to come directly to Him. And of course we know the rest of the story. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. God was not finished.
When we feel forsaken or forgotten, may we remind ourselves of Truth. Our God loves us with an unfailing love (Jeremiah 31:3). His Word says that He will complete the work that He has started in each one of us (Philippians 1:6). And He will never fail us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). How and what we feel is important. Let’s cry out to God and tell Him that. And then let’s remind ourselves that our God IS at work, often times beyond what we can see.
Anchored in Christ,