[Listen to the sound file while you read — two inches to the right of this line on this page, marked “Aubre’s Gift”]
Preparing Our Hearts for Good Friday and Easter
The Savior is forsaken by the Father.
Adapted from the accounts of
Psalm 22:1-31 and Mt 27:45-46; Mk 15:33-34
Jesus applies Psalm 22 to Himself.
Now from the sixth hour [noon] there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” that is,
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
MY GOD, MY GOD,
WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
WHY ARE YOU SO FAR FROM SAVING ME,
FROM THE WORDS OF MY GROANING?
O MY GOD, I CRY BY DAY, BUT YOU DO NOT ANSWER,
AND BY NIGHT, BUT I FIND NO REST.
YET YOU ARE HOLY, ENTHRONED ON THE PRAISES OF ISRAEL.
IN YOU OUR FATHERS TRUSTED;
THEY TRUSTED, AND YOU DELIVERED THEM.
TO YOU THEY CRIED AND WERE RESCUED;
IN YOU THEY TRUSTED
AND WERE NOT PUT TO SHAME.
BUT I AM A WORM AND NOT A MAN,
SCORNED BY MANKIND AND DESPISED BY THE PEOPLE.
ALL WHO SEE ME MOCK ME;
THEY MAKE MOUTHS AT ME;
THEY WAG THEIR HEADS; SAYING
“HE TRUSTED ON THE LORD THAT HE WOULD DELIVER HIM:
LET HIM DELIVER HIM, SEEING HE DELIGHTED IN HIM.”
It was the ninth hour of the day, 3:00 P.M. by our reckoning. Hanging in silent agony for some time, He opens His mouth and reveals what His heart has been meditating upon through the hours of agony on the cross—the twenty-second Psalm.
He applies the psalm to Himself.
All of our words fail.
How do we comprehend the magnitude of this event? God the Son feels forsaken by the Father! How can it be? How is it possible? Finite minds cannot penetrate the mystery of the Infinite One who is Triune, or of the separation between the Father and beloved Son, or the vastness of His plan to save those who would believe.
Surely, you too have been forsaken at some point in your life. Yet how can we even begin to comprehend the sense of loss and agony that Jesus must have felt?
Infinite relational intimacy with infinite beauty, love, holiness, mercy, glory, righteousness, compassion—perfection ——lost, . . . as the Father turns His back on the sin-bearing Son.
“Oh Lord God, I have been forsaken, and I wish never to experience it again. But Jesus You went to the cross for me knowing the price, however temporary, would be the unimaginable loss of fellowship with the Father. I can never repay— even to try is an insult to the suffering You endured. Thank You for the promise that by Your death heaven’s gates have opened wide, and I too will one day enjoy fellowship with the Father through You , Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.”
An excerpt from Experience the Passion of Christ by Marty Schoenleber, Jr.