Day 34: Forsakenness | 40 Days of Focus
There are so many poignant, heart-wrenching moments in the hours of Good Friday, but perhaps there is none so terrifying as when Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” The forsakenness of Jesus is, in part, a mystery. How could He who is one with the Trinity be so cut off? It is not a mystery we can unravel in the limited understanding of man, let alone in the few paragraphs we have here.
But while we can’t absorb the entirety of it, we must reflect on what is comprehensible to us. When the Father turned away from His Son as He bore the sin of the world, that was your sin and mine—this is personal. The Godhead chose to experience something inconceivable, and that was because we sinned. Jesus bore that forsakenness, so we wouldn’t have to.
We cannot conceive of the horrors of hell or the suffering that will be endured there. We don’t really even like to acknowledge it. One of the greatest terrors imaginable is being totally cut off from God—being severed from all that is good, love, light, hope—forever. Those who would deny hell need only look at what Jesus suffered to save us to realize it is true. If it weren’t essential, why else would He endure the abandonment?
- Have you ever been lonely or felt abandoned by those you loved? How does that help you glimpse what forsakenness feels like?
- When you consider the forsakenness Jesus experienced and the ache in the heart of the Father as He turned from your sin on His Son, what does that tell you about the extent of God’s love for you?
Lord, it is terrifying to think of the forsakenness You experienced for us. Thank You that You bore it so those You have redeemed will never have to experience it. Thank You that You promised to never leave us or forsake us. As we contemplate this, deepen our gratitude, our understanding of Your love. And deepen, too, our commitment to share this good news with others, so they will not be forsaken because of their unbelief.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries