My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
‘My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me? Mark 15 Verse 34
This is a cry that no child of God should ever have to make. In reality though, it is the case when we often ‘feel’ forsaken of God, of His love and His favour.
God’s law demanded sacrifice. Blood needed to be shed for the remission of sin. Sinful blood was of no use, therefore the sacrifice of any other man would have been in vain. It required a perfect sacrifice. The Lamb had to be without fault or blemish. The only Person who qualified in the eyes of God was Jesus. The only begotten, beloved Son of God must be put to death in the room and place of sinners if salvation was to be purchased.
What a cost!
Satan thought that he had gained the victory by slaying Christ in front of His people. It was in the darkness and ugliness of that cross that beauty shone through. Truth met with mercy, righteousness and peace kissed mutually.
There is much mystery surrounding the cross of Jesus. Have you ever asked yourself the question, ‘What would have happened had Christ listened to those who had said,’ Save thyself, and come down from the cross?’’ Where would we be now? What would our position be before God, had Jesus not died on the cross?
As a physical act it would have been easy for Jesus to come down from the cross. Nails could not hold the Son of God against His Will. It was however an impossibility for Him to come down. He had no other Will than to do His Father’s Will and for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross.
What exactly did He endure? Many will cringe as they think of the brutality of the beating He suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers. The scourges down His back, the spitting and slapping of His face. There is no doubt in my mind that this was indeed a vicious and savage attack on an innocent man. ‘His visage was so marred more than any man.’
Remember that this had followed a sleepless night and also the sweating of blood. Physicians tell us that it requires a great inward struggle using a great deal of energy for any man to sweat blood. It is however possible! We know because the Bible tells us so. Little wonder then that He had such a struggle carrying His cross.
The nailing of the hands and feet make others shudder as they contemplate such action and pain. ‘For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.’
Others tell of the horrific suffocating effects that are experienced by those hung on a cross. ‘I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.’
Others have experienced what it is to suffer drought and know the pains and sufferings of thirst. ‘My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.’
It is hard for many of us to imagine the sufferings listed above. It is even harder for us to comprehend the true sufferings of Jesus! I am persuaded that the sufferings mentioned above are the sufferings that the majority of Christians in our day think of as being ‘the sufferings of Jesus.’ Would these sufferings alone have saved us?
It is what Jesus suffered in His soul that proclaimed and assured the victory and the salvation of His people.
It was while He was still alive that He suffered the pains of Hell for His own. He was indeed forsaken of God. Yes, God forsook God! He suffered a lost eternity intensively – but not extensively – for His chosen people.
What does that mean to you and I? It means that the punishment and the suffering that was due to us as sinners – which is or would have been an eternity in hell – was suffered by Jesus while He was alive on the cross. He suffered an eternal death while still alive!
My friends, He paid the price in full. Having accomplished what He set out to do for His people, He cried, ‘It is finished!’ ‘One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.’ ‘In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.’
Was justice satisfied? Was God satisfied? The empty grave my friend is proof of the Father’s satisfaction. You want evidence? ‘Come see the place where the Lord lay’ ‘This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’
Jesus was forsaken in order that we would not be. ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ Today it matters not what we ‘feel’. Feelings are good and we all enjoy feeling good, however they are not to be relied upon for our salvation.
God says, ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Rejoice my friend this day in the assurance that this mighty sacrifice was all for you. No matter what we may suffer in this world, it is nothing compared to what Jesus suffered on behalf of His children. If you are cast down today then think for a moment on the cost of saving a sinner like you!
Are you asking if He did it for you? 'I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.' 'They that are whole need not a physician, but they who are sick.' What more could He possible have done for you?
Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.