My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Psalm 22:1
Those have to be the most painful words ever uttered.
Jesus – who’d know only eternal union with God the Father – wasn’t just being torn from his human life; he was being ripped away from his union with the Father. Jesus was hung on a tree … naked. But this was real nakedness that he felt; he’d been stripped of his union with God.
At the beginning of creation, humanity was naked and not ashamed (Genesis 1 and 2). When sin crept into our world, shame caused Adam and Eve to realize that they were naked (Genesis 3).
They covered their physical nakedness with fig leaves. But they were naked in other ways too. They were psychologically, emotionally, and interpersonally naked, not fully able to trust one another anymore. And rather than hiding themselves behind fig leaves, they began to build walls between themselves and others and not let in even the people closest to them. Suddenly there were secrets, lies, and half-truths – all devised to protect us from the shame in our hearts.
Adam and Eve also realized that they were now naked before God. They hid in the bushes to hide their shame. God can see all, but how many of us still fail to be fully honest before God? We think we’re committing our sins in secret. We justify ourselves and we justify our sins. But the only person we’re deceiving is ourselves.
When Adam and Eve lost their original intimacy with God, they probably felt some of that same “forsakenness” that Jesus felt on the cross. What had always been there – God’s immediacy – was now irreparably severed.
You and I live in an awkward in between place. We’ve only known in life some degree of separation from God. Thus, in many ways, we don’t fully know what we’re missing. We call this “normal.” It’s not normal. It’s broken. Corrupt. But it’s all we know.
And yet, by allowing himself to be “forsaken” – even for those moments two thousand years ago – Jesus began to pave a way for us to come back to God. By taking on our sin and nakedness, he began to clothe us with righteousness – his righteousness, imputed to us. And whenever we repent, we’re doing our part in restoring the relationship that sin has severed. (On the cross, Christ did the heavy lifting, and yet we’re still called to do our part.)
As we repent – and increasingly comprehend the grace of God – we begin to move past the forsakenness that we may not even really know is there (because it’s always been there in this broken world). As we repent – and increasing comprehend God’s amazing grace – we begin to heal! We begin to life more fully! We begin to experience true love, joy, and peace! Hope becomes real. Freedom begins to define our spirits.
Christ’s forsakenness is our path of life. Therefore, we thank God for the cross.
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who loves a
relatively modern song:
You were condemned.
I’m alive and well,
your Spirit is within me,
because you died
and rose again.
how can it be,
that you my king
have died for me?
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor you.
In all I do, I honor you.