"About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Matthew 27:46).
This fourth statement from the cross, the fulfillment of prophecy from Psalm 22, is the very core of our redemption. It is the very essence of the Christian faith. If you miss this, you miss everything.
Had the Father not turned His back on the Son, had the Father not abandoned the Son at that moment, we could never be sure that the Son actually carried our sin and our judgment on the cross.
This is the most surprising statement of all of those Christ made from the cross. In fact, it is downright confusing to many people. Here, the word "forsaken" literally means to leave someone in a lurch, to abandon someone completely. How can the Father abandon His Son, who coexisted with Him in perfect unity for eternity? The Father and the Son were always one unit. Why would He abandon His Son now?
Make no mistake about it, He did abandon Him. Why? It was for you. It was for me. It was for our redemption. It was for our forgiveness - so that we could live forever.
The Father deserted the Son in His most desperate moment because of our sin. Jesus was carrying the judgment of our sin upon that cross, and the Father could not look upon sin, and therefore, He turned His back.
Prayer: Father, I am humbled to think that You would forsake Your Son because of my sin. Thank You for the reminder of the incredible cost of my sin and the depth of Your forgiveness. Help me to live a life of gratitude for Your love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered" (Psalm 32:1).