“At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” – Matthew 27:46 (NLT)
When Jesus was on the cross He cried out asking why God had forsaken Him. In the Greek, this means to abandon or more properly “left in a condition of lack”. Why? What did Jesus do to deserve complete separation from His Father?
In the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 12 gives us the reasons. Paul, writing in Hebrews, talks to us about the reasons Jesus endured this punishment. It was to make the way for us because we cannot do it on our own. Jesus endured the punishment because He knew what it would accomplish in the end…salvation for all!
In the book of Hebrews Paul also talks about us being chastened by God (see Hebrews 12:11). Often times we think God is angry with us because we messed up. But this word actually means “instruction” or more properly, “instruction that trains someone to reach full development (maturity)”.
As Christ followers we often get a picture of us doing something we shouldn’t and God looking down on us in shame and disappointment and then yelling at us. But the real picture is the instruction of a loving Father. Like a father that tells us not to run out into the street because it is unsafe and dangerous. God loves us so much that He pulls us aside and instructs us because He loves us.
Maybe today you are feeling like you messed up and failed. Maybe you did something that the Lord has asked you not to do and you sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t get completely down on ourselves but be encouraged because we have a loving Heavenly Father, not up in Heaven looking down in disappointment, but right beside us, picking us up and dusting us off.
Jesus was forsaken for us so that when we are in Christ we would never be forsaken again (Hebrews 13:5). Hebrews 12:24 says,”…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Abel’s blood was spilled as a result of sin, Jesus’ blood was spilled to cover that sin.” Stay under the blood of Jesus and you will never be condemned or forsaken because our Heavenly Father loves you and me.