About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, April 1, 1973.
Jesus felt forsaken, abandoned even by God. In the final hours even His friends forsook Him and fled. He had foreseen the final tragedy of that defection, but He relied on his Father’s presence: “You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me” (John 16:32). And now God hid His face, and Jesus was totally alone.
Someone has called this the crucifixion within the crucifixion. His feelings of abandonment give us a glimpse of what it took to redeem our world. This is not a perfunctory paying of a price for something that is good and beneficial. It is not even just a death, terrible and terrifying as death can be. This is God’s Son making atonement for a world’s sin. We can’t appreciate the full necessity of Christ’s cross until we see our condition as fatal. Only when we see ourselves plunging into the abyss does God’s reaching out have any real meaning. The peril is so great that nothing simply human can divert it. The Son of God took this deadly disaster into His own heart and was forsaken by God.
In Jesus Christ there is reconciliation. It comes from God. In Christ, God reconciled the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us. The hurt we inflict upon ourselves God took in the person of that real man, His Son. There is one mediator between God and men—the man Christ Jesus. He is the one. He took it all and He is the one.
Lord Jesus, help us to see that You are truly human and truly God and to place our faith in Your sacrifice for us. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.