Word of Lament #2

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabahthani?” Mark 15:33-34

   “In some mysterious way that we can never fully comprehend, during those awful hours on the cross, the Father was pouring out the full measure of His wrath against sin. God was punishing Jesus, as if He had personally committed every wicked deed committed by every wicked sinner. It took six hours.” (Greg Laurie)

The night before, Jesus had called out to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Abba, Father, take this cup from me.” Abba was a name used to indicate the
close, intimate relationship of a father and his child, as well as the childlike trust that a youngster puts in his “daddy.” On the cross Jesus used the name “Eloi” — a more formal way of speaking to God. Jesus really did feel abandoned by his Abba Father. It’s possible to feel forsaken, even though you never will be forsaken.

The fact that Jesus cried out with this heartbreaking question, shows that he remained in relationship with God, despite his anguish. Although no answer was given to His question, “Why?”, it was not the last prayer Jesus prayed on the cross. He kept talking to His Father.

  When we shut down and stop asking questions or stop communicating at all, we put ourselves at a dangerous distance. We rarely get all the answers to all our questions, but that doesn’t rule out God’s presence. In times of grief or pain, the answer to our “whys” wouldn’t make the hurt go away. More than explanations, we need God’s presence, which will never be taken from us. “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Lord, the intensity of what You felt on the cross is unimaginable. Because You were willing take my place and pay for my sin, I never have to wonder about Your faithful presence. Thank You for Your promise to never leave me or forsake me.

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