And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
A loud, searching call, reverberated through the Universe, “My God!” No answer. “My God!!”… the desperate cry of a Son who had never known a moment without the intertwined companionship of His Father, abruptly aware of His absence.
In the hollow vacuum of silence, His flesh broken, pierced, His blood pouring from those voluntary wounds, “Why?” comes from the parched lips of the Promised One, the only human Son of God. “Why have you forsaken me?”
Alone, cut off from the Father, there’s no logic, no reason for much of anything for anyone. Separation from Him is separation from our life-Source. For Yeshua the Messiah [actually for all of us], it is like a fish taken from the water – impossible to get a breath. God is not just the provider of our breath. God IS our Breath. Since being ejected from the Garden, Man has been born separated from that intimacy, which is anything but normal, from Heaven’s perspective. From Man’s view, isolated is normal, the way it has always been. Jesus is coming from Normal, the enmeshed life lived for each other.*
He became sin. Sin is defined in the dictionary as an action which violates God’s moral law and in turn alienates a human being from God. Sin, as defined in the Bible, IS the isolation, not just an act that causes alienation. Separation from God IS sin. We were born separated from the spiritual Life that makes us a person. Personality is not part of our broken-off, isolated, Individuality – the antonym of Personality.
Jesus was not born separated from God’s spirit. But, taking on the form of man, “he learned obedience through suffering” [Hebrews 5:8], “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” [Hebrews 4:15] The Father was ever present to train and discipline and had a lot of help in the cultural environment of a devout Hebrew family, as would any Jewish boy of that day. He heard the history of God’s interaction with the chosen people and discovered His own identity, His own personality in the confirmations of the Tanakh, God’s oral and written Word.
It is naturally difficult for us to grasp having unbroken intimacy with God and still having to learn obedience through disciplinary training, but that is exactly why the Holy Spirit has been given to Man from the beginning. Jesus was a human baby and baby boys must become mature men, no matter who their Parents might be, and that takes a family’s love and training.
Now, here at the finish of His task, even with His impassioned cries echoing through Creation, His Father’s voice could not be heard. His presence could not be felt. This was the moment that had filled Jesus with dread. The Comm-Union they had always been, was broken. Oh, the unfathomable depths of the love of God! To send His pure Son of promise into the black-hole of Man’s dark isolation! The Crux, the pivot-point of Time-Space, of Creation – Sin, taken on by the only one who could deal with it personally and for all eternity wear the title, Lamb of God.
Why have You forsaken Me? Why? Because the Father loves you and me. He wants an eternity with those who love Him. But how? There’s only one Way. He laid His life down for us. He came into our spiritually comatose world, connected the Holy Ghost jumper cables and jump started our lives.
He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all [Romans 8:32a]
Come and let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up. [Hosea 6:1]
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
… this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. [1Peter 2:19,21,24]
When you are going through something that causes you to look for God and ask why, know this and trust it – you were chosen and equipped for the task.
* MINISTRY IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – Stephen Seamands, IVP Books