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, March 24, 1963.
“Why did this have to happen to me?” Poignant and personal, suffering invades the sacred precincts of life, wrecking the little fences built so tidily and intelligently around our emotions and throwing into confused disarray all the defenses we have set up against intrusion upon our inner being.
Christ suffered the pain that hurts the most, deep down inside. It did not come upon Him unawares, as if up to that moment He had closed His eyes to the heartbreak of the world. None was more sensitive to suffering than He, none more ready to give instant help without thought of self. Never having hurt anyone, Christ lifted up His voice in the darkness of Calvary to ask the classic human question: “Why God? Why Me?”
The question is right at the heart of life. Christ was a real man, living a genuine human life and dying a genuine human death. He died all for us, in our place.
Since He died and rose again, all is changed. Death is not what it was. Suffering is not what it was, either. “Why me?” strikes a tender chord in the heart of God ever since that day when the Son of God offered His holy and lonely life in atonement for a world’s sin. In Christ, God forgives. In Christ, God cares. When we recall the suffering of Christ, we remember that we are not alone. What happened to Him happened for good. What happens to us, as we trust in Him, happens for good.
Lord Christ, when we suffer, help us remember that You know suffering, and that You walk with us through pain. 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.