Holy Wednesday – Forsaken
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — Mark 15:33-34
There perhaps may be no deeper feeling than that of abandonment. It can go even deeper than loss because when someone is gone, it is often out of our control. When someone forsakes us, that speaks to who we how and how they—in that moment, at least—feel about us. Whoever it is, they’ve willfully looked at us and turned their back, left us as if we were dead.
Abandonment feels as though no one else understands, no one else has been through this feeling. It can even feel a bit like betrayal, as though someone was with you and then you turned around and they were gone. It leaves us grasping for things to fill that void left by being deserted, all to no avail.
While we all feel this at one time or another, most of us would say that we’ve never forsaken other people. Consider for a moment, though, the times we choose ourselves over others or the times we choose to do something else rather than spend time with others. Maybe it was during a conversation and we weren’t actually listening but had our mind on other things. Or what about a promise made that was forsaken on a whim?
When we pause to consider what it means to not only be forsaken, but to forsake others, we begin to get picture of how Jesus felt on the cross, when He asks His Father why it feels as though He has left Him. Most of the disciples acted the same toward Jesus, this person with whom they had shared life and now abandoned in His greatest time of need, of support, of love.
Crying out those words reveals to us a Holy God that cannot—and will not—look upon our sin, for in that moment, Jesus took all of our sin that we dumped on Him when we turned our collective backs and left it for Him to endure, for which He paid the ultimate price of His life. So while we left Him for dead, He died so that we can be resurrected from death. When we instead turn and run to Him, He takes our dead lifeless body and makes it alive!