And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46)
At about 3 p.m., just before He died, Jesus cried out with a loud voice: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Jesus is quoting Psalm 22, the first verse. I don't know if He had strength to continue with the rest of the psalm. He surely had it memorized. Because Psalm 22 gives us Jesus' perspective on His own crucifixion—what it was like for Him.
And the first half is exactly as horrific as you'd expect. Hands and feet pierced, bones out of joint—surrounded by enemies. He barely feels human. And He cries out to God so high above Him, seated in glory—will God help Him?
Yes! Right in the middle of verse 22 Jesus goes from crying for help to joyfully announcing that God's help has come. God has delivered Him. God has raised His Messiah from the dead. And as a result of His suffering, death, and resurrection, all the ends of the earth will believe and be saved.
Jesus was not abandoned, though it must have felt that way. We, too, are never abandoned. Even at the darkest moment of our lives, God is there and He hears our cries for help. He who raised Jesus from the dead will surely save us also.
WE PRAY: Lord, be with me even when I can't sense Your presence. Amen.
* Have you ever felt abandoned? Looking back, how did God help you at that time?
* While you were suffering, were you aware of God's presence and help?
* Why do you think God sometimes seems to hide Himself?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 32-34 Luke 8:26-56
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