March 29, 2021 Charlotte, North Carolina
“From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. 46 Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Matthew 27:45-46, THE MESSAGE
As I watched another scene portrayed on the television screen this season of Jesus (Yeshua) dying on the cross, as He was mercilessly crucified, the Holy Spirit gave me once again a more profound sense of how He must have felt being abandoned.
Though He had known He had come to earth to redeem us, which meant a death on the cross to shed His innocent blood for our sins, yet when it was happening, He cried out to the Father, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”
In His full humanity, Yeshua felt, and knew, the real heartbreaking, tormenting, rejection experience of abandonment. Separated from His Father. Separated from His earthly family. Separated from all as He hung on the tree, brutally scourged and dying from a broken heart.
“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:32-34, NKJV
As I continued to watch, I could only imagine (as the song goes) how it must have been to be there, having already gone through the previous tormenting hours of praying alone while the others who had been with Him three years slept; standing alone in front of His accusers in the midnight hours, beaten with whips and then having a crown of thorns placed on His head; then forced to carry the heavy beam to the hill of Golgotha, falling three times on the way. Followed by three hours hanging on the cross, naked and alone.
He did it all for us. He accepted this death in order for you and me to receive the forgiveness necessary to eternally live with Him, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. The abandonment He endured on that cross gave way three days later to the glorious resurrection that He also knew would come, as prophesied.
There is always hope found in Yeshua, Jesus. There is always One Whom we can run to, who understands, who endured it all, who lets us know that whenever we feel abandoned, rejected, set aside, that He first experienced it all, and now lives to help us through it anytime we feel the same in our lives.
“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11-14, NKJV
The Passover Lamb became the Risen Savior. This is why this season, and all the days, are to be annually remembered and celebrated. He is the One Whom we adore, call upon, and know in faith that our God will always be there.
“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:12-13, NKJV
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People founder