My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Posted on June 16, 2016.

Read Matthew 27:45-61

      The three hours of supernatural darkness beginning at noonday are a sign of judgment on Israel.  The prophet Amos wrote, “‘And on that day,’ declares the Lord God, ‘I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.  . . . I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.’” (Amos 8:9,10).

      But it was also a judgment on Jesus as he bore the sins not only of his fellow Israelites but of all people over all of human history.  Whatever the physical sufferings of the cross, and they were great and many, the epitome of Jesus’ suffering must be here.  In his cry of anguished abandonment, we hear not only the measure of our sin, but also the measure of his love for us.  As Elizabeth Browning wrote over 150 years ago, “Yea, once Immanuel’s orphaned cry His universe hath shaken – It went up single, echoless, ‘My God, I am forsaken!’  It went up from the Holy’s lips amid His lost creation, That, of the lost, no son should use those words of desolation!”