Before the three hours of darkness fell, while Jesus hung on the cross, He answered a question; but during those hours of darkness He asked a very significant question. In answer to the penitent thief, who requested being remembered, when Jesus would come into His kingdom, Jesus assured him that he would be with Him in paradise that very day. But His own question is the one David asked in Psalm 22:1, namely, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?''
This question expresses the awfulness of the agony which He was suffering for our sins. It was not a physical, bodily misery, about which He cries. Nor was He questioning God's justice in pouring all this upon Him. He knew full well that He must lay down His life for His sheep, and was willing to do so. No, the question expresses His anguish, or, if you will the extreme cost spiritually for Him to blot out our sins.
He loved God perfectly and delighted in God's fellowship. Even a momentary or partial denial of that fellowship would be agonizing for Him. And now He was completely cut off from enjoying that love of God and of sweet communion with Him.
Note that He has not forsaken God. For He cries out, "My God, my God." And as our versification has it:
My God, my God I cry to Thee;
O why hast Thou forsaken Me?
Afar from Me, Thou dost not heed,
Though day and night for help I plead.
We have, no doubt, many a time run to God in prayer, seeking His help to benefit our earthly lives. But the question is whether we are Christ-like in this respect that we want to taste God's love, and would consider it a tremendous loss to be cut off from enjoying His fellowship.
Would your days be dark and gloomy, if you knew that God would withdraw His love from you? You forsook Him many a time and laughed and sang during those moments. Would you laugh and sing, if you knew that God had no covenant fellowship for you? What means most to you, your physical or your spiritual miseries?
Read: Matthew 27:39-53
Psalter versification: 47:1
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 103
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
… it [the gospel] promises and proclaims the remission of sin, salvation, and eternal life, by and for the sake of the Son of God, the Mediator; and is that through which the Holy Spirit works effectually in the hearts of the faithful, kindling and exciting in them, faith, repentance, and the beginning of eternal life. -- Z. Ursinus
- Date: 31-March