Christ forsaken

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My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Ps. 22:1

When our Lord uttered this prayer on the cross, he was not merely sharing in David's experience. He was, of course, but in a very real sense our Lord was experiencing a depth to the experience of being forsaken by his Father that David never had to endure. When David said this, he certainly felt forsaken by God. But when our Lord uttered these words, he was forsaken - though for only a moment! - by the Father as he endured his wrath poured out against, not his own, but our sins.

We will never be able to fully grasp or comprehend the depth of the suffering that our Lord went through. But this leads to an important consideration. It means that our Lord has not only identified with our suffering (as shown in his using David's words as the medium for the expression of his own anguish), but in identifying with our suffering goes beyond it to depths that we will never have to endure. He has done this precisely because he died for us and took all the punishment that was due to us for our sin against God. All the suffering we endure is ultimately explainable, at least on some level, either directly by our own sin or by the fact that we live in a fallen and sin-struck world. But because of the death of Christ on our behalf, those who belong to him will never have to experience the fulness of the suffering that our sin demands. Christ did so that we do not have to. And one day we will be freed completely from all the effects of sin, including death.

So as we near Good Friday, let us remember that our Lord suffered for all who believe on him in order to take all their sin upon himself. He was forsaken so that we do not have to be. Doing so, he is not only able to sympathize with us completely and intelligently and lovingly, but is also able to meet us with grace abounding to the chief of sinners and to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by him.

By: Jeremiah Bass