About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Matthew 27:46 NIV
Seneca moved to a new home in a different town. I no longer visit her everyday for a walk and playtime. She has a wonderful life but whenever we are reunited, I wonder if she thinks I abandoned her when I stopped visiting each day.
There are lots of animals and people who are abandoned in the world. The word abandon means to cease to support or look after or to desert. In a way that is exactly what I have done to Seneca as I no longer look after her on a daily basis.
Many years ago, Jesus wondered the same thing. He cried out on the cross asking God why he had forsaken him? The definition of forsake is to abandon. God abandoned Jesus that Friday afternoon so long ago as he hung on the cross in agony. He was totally alone with no support from his Father.
Philippians 2:8 tells us that Jesus humbled himself and was obedient to death on the cross. Isaiah 53:5 says that Jesus was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities. Jesus came to this earth knowing that he was the sacrificial lamb that would be slain for the sins of the world. He went to the cross willingly for you and for me. He suffered humiliation and pain on our behalf. He was tortured and hung on a cross with nails pounded into his hands and his feet for us.
God loves us so much that he let his son bear the ugliness of our sin. He abandoned Jesus so we never will be abandoned. It doesn’t stop there. Through death Jesus won the victory of sin, death, hell and the grave. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he rose from the grave and is exalted to his heavenly throne. That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is living in us and is giving us life eternal (Romans 8:11).
Let us never forget Jesus’ death and sacrifice because it truly is finished. Let’s celebrate the empty tomb. We will never be abandoned. He is risen!