And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34 (NIV)
Jesus asks why. At the pinnacle of His suffering on the cross, when the pain is at its worse, Jesus wants to know why the Spirit of God has left Him. At that moment, was He feeling the terrible pain of the nails in His hands and feet? Was the weight of His body making that pain ever more difficult to bear? Was Jesus feeling the horrible pain of being rejected, accused, convicted and condemned? He was also carrying the weight of the sins of all mankind upon His shoulders. Is the thought of that burden unfathomable to consider? Yet in the moment where Jesus was facing all this pain and suffering, why was He more concerned about the Presence of God?
Did Jesus know something that we fail to see? Was He in the fuller light of something we may only guess at? Did He hold a secret that we may never have come to terms with? Did He know better than us that the Presence of God is what holds everything else up? Did He know that without that Presence of the Almighty, nothing else has value? Without God present in any thought, feeling or action is the result empty and meaningless. Is the removal of God from our lives the most painful experience available for a human being to experience? Did Jesus realize this? Should we?
Although painful for the Father and the Son, was it necessary to sacrifice the life of our Savior? Did God the Father have to let go and let us kill His very own Son so that our own treason could be paid for by that Life? Did the One who knows all things know also that this was the only Way that we could be washed clean from stepping out of the will of God? Were His loss, and the loss of His Son, the only Way to ever show all creation that They love us and are committed to bringing us back into union with Them? Did God know that there would be some who would see this incredible act of love and turn their hearts? Will that be us? Will we turn from ever chasing our own desires and will? Will we look back to the One who loved us, made us, and saved us?
Therefore when we consider the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, shall we not wonder after that love? He suffered much at the hands of our forefathers. He suffers daily still when we fail to make Him important enough to turn back to God because of His sacrifice. It pains Him to see us stubbornly set our attention on our own lives and the things that please us most. Should we consider the size of His love not because He suffered nails, a cross and shame, but rather because His love was so great that He even went so far as to suffer the loss of the Presence of God with Him? Did He love us so much that He willingly placed Himself in a situation where God the Father would be removed from within His heart or at least hidden from Him? Can we fathom such love? Is that not the greatest sacrifice that Man could make? Should we make every effort to secure that Presence in our lives? Should we do anything necessary to make sure we never lose access to that Presence?
Dear Jesus, thank You so much for Your love. Thank You for loving us so much that You were willing to suffer all that You did. But most of all, thank You that You suffered that most terrifying thought of all. You let Yourself experience that separation and removal of the Presence of Your Father from You! Thank You! Help us to understand the size of that kind of love. Help us to understand a little of what You suffered for us. Then let our repentance and our love work to return some of that love to You!