Summary: Why has Jesus been forsaken? So that we do not need to go through heel and so we can have a relationship with God.
Jesus Pays ... Mankind Stutters
Good Friday is the day we specifically focus on the death of Jesus.
Now let’s remember that His death is just a small part of the whole – what we call – Passion Narrative.
It seems a bit strange to call this act “The Passion” especially since our understanding of passion has very little to do with suffering.
Originally however the English word “Passion” was based on the Latin word “passio”, which means, simply, "suffering."
So when we talk about the Passion of Christ we are not talking about Jesus’ girlfriends, or hinting that He might be having secret affairs – or anything like that.
The Passion is a term that describes all of the events which took place from the Last Supper right through to the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus’ death is just one part of that narrative.
Let’s read about it in Matthew 27:45-55
Up to this point Jesus has been through so much pain and agony and suffering.
At His trial He is falsely accused, and then condemned to death, then this happens:-
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
After Pilate has set Barabbas free and sent Jesus to be crucified.
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged
(a flogging consists of 40 lashes)
While Jesus was waiting to be crucified
The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
Even before Jesus is crucified He has suffered at the hands of brutal men. Even before He gets to the cross Jesus has been beaten, bloodied, disfigured, scourged. After all that He is crucified. Nails put through His hands and feet so that He can be held to a cross.
More agony and pain and suffering.
At any time in that process does Jesus cry out … or ask them to stop … or accuse them of being cowards … or say that this is all so unfair?
Quite the opposite.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Not only does Jesus endure it all. He prays for those who are persecuting Him and beating Him and causing Him to suffer so much pain.
And now it has been dark for 3 hours … dark from mid-day to 3pm.
An eerie darkness.
An oppressive darkness.
It seems that Jesus just spends that time hanging on the cross – struggling for breath.
None of the Gospel writers tell us anything about that time so we assume there was not really much to see.
But something was going on. Because at the end of the darkness all of the sudden Jesus cries out from the cross.
Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
It would have been a cry that sent shivers down the spine of all who heard it.
What forces this sudden outburst … directed toward God no less … when everything else before was taken in silence?
To be forsaken means:- having no access to God the Father.
To be forsaken means:- being on the wrong side of God.
To be forsaken means:- God doesn’t listen to you.
To be forsaken means:- grace is finished.
You know what being forsaken is? It’s hell.
This is not a light moment – it is perhaps one of the most significant moments in history … God the Son is being forsaken by God the Father.
Jesus at this very moment is going through hell.
Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?
It’s the cry of One who is expressing a sense of desolation and abandonment.
The cry of an innocent member of God’s family who is seeking justice.
It’s the same cry which has been used by widows and the poor who have been exploited.
The type of cry which is being made here is a cry which God has never ignored – except for now. Even when Jesus uses words which tear at the Father-heart of God heaven is silent. Jesus is being forsaken … Jesus is going through hell. Something really significant is happening here.
Little Jason was not a good student and after trying everything they could his parents enrolled him into the local Catholic school.
On the first day after school Jason came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn’t even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying. Books and papers were spread out all over the room and little Jason was hard at work. When it was time for dinner Jason came to the table, ate quickly, and then went back to studying. This happened for two weeks straight.