And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama Sabastian?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
A mysterious passage in the Bible has Jesus feeling forsaken by God the Father. It is mysterious because we think of the Godhead as being united in love and purpose. And it is. But in the moment that Jesus Christ hung on the cross, He was bearing the sins of the world. He had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because holy God cannot dwell in the presence of sin, He turned away from His Son who had become sin in our place. Could there be any lonelier cry in history than these words of Jesus?
Yes, Jesus felt abandoned. But just as He knew David’s “forsaken” lament from Psalm 22:1, He also knew David’s hope of resurrection in Psalm 16. He knew that God’s forsaking was only for a season. On the third day He was alive again! There may be times of discipline in our life in which God’s actions may be “painful” (Hebrews 12:11). But He has not forsaken us; He is not punishing us. He is teaching us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).
God does not leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
None can find out a single person whom God has forsaken after having revealed Himself savingly to him. Charles H. Spurgeon
The “Go” of Renunciation
Our Lord’s attitude toward this man was one of severe discouragement, “for He knew what was in man” (John 2:25). We would have said, “I can’t imagine why He lost the opportunity of winning that man! Imagine being so cold to him and turning him away so discouraged!” Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to be hurt or offended. Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God. Our Lord’s answers were not based on some whim or impulsive thought, but on the knowledge of “what was in man.” If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of its death.
Luke 9:58. These words destroy the argument of serving Jesus Christ because it is a pleasant thing to do. And the strictness of the rejection that He demands of me allows for nothing to remain in my life but my Lord, myself, and a sense of desperate hope. He says that I must let everyone else come or go, and that I must be guided solely by my relationship to Him. And He says, “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Luke 9:59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor did he want to show a lack of respect for his father. We put our sense of loyalty to our relatives ahead of our loyalty to Jesus Christ, forcing Him to take last place. When your loyalties conflict, always obey Jesus Christ whatever the cost.
Luke 9:61. The person who says, “Lord, I will follow You, but…,” is the person who is intensely ready to go, but never goes. This man had reservations about going. The exacting call of Jesus has no room for good-byes; good-byes, as we often use them, are pagan, not Christian, because they divert us from the call. Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
The message of the prophets is that although they have forsaken God, it has not altered God. The Apostle Paul emphasizes the same truth, that God remains God even when we are unfaithful (see 2 Timothy 2:13). Never interpret God as changing with our changes. He never does; there is no variableness in Him. Notes on Ezekiel, 1477 L