by Josh Caudill
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
These are the words of the Psalmist (Psalm 22:1). This Psalm of David laments the solitude of separation from God. More accurately, it laments the feeling of solitude from God, for God assures us that even in our darkest moments, we are not alone.
But today, we recall these words spoken yet one more time. This time, however, they come from the mouth of our very Lord Jesus. On the cross, he cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
When we hear these words, we feel a complexity of responses. We wonder how Christ, who Himself is God, can feel separation from God the Father. We weep at the pain Christ must feel in this moment--how great is His burden! And, I think, we understand, for each of us, at various moments in our life, has felt far from God.
But Jesus's story does not end in separation. No, He sits, triumphant, at the Father's right hand.
And our stories, likewise, end not in separation but in communion. Today, Christ reigns in Heaven. In our hearts, may Christ also reign. May we feel the tragedy of His death in its fullness, that we may celebrate the unity of His--and our--new life.
In the book of Hebrews, we are reassured that our High Priest--Jesus, the Messiah--is a relatable leader of His people. He has experienced the depths of temptation and felt the sorrow of loss. Here, on the cross, we see both. Certainly He felt the temptation to call upon the angels to free Him of His suffering! Yet he bears the pain, the feeling of hopelessness, on our behalf.
Why does He do this? That we might live with hope.
Today, pray for hope. Pray that you would feel this hope afresh in your life. Pray for hope to shine in a darkened world. Ask God for opportunities to show this hope--this light--to your friends, family, and neighbors.
Though we lament this dark night, let us hold to the hope that is promised and secured for us.
Grace & Peace