“Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani.” These are the profound words which draw our attention to the significance of Good Friday. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani,” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me.”
Today, we take time to meditate on what is perhaps the most profound activity of God – that God the Father would forsake His Son and allow Him to die. There is no preceding event to leave us wondering what happened. There is no conclusion to be reached as to who is at work. Jesus speaks clearly, “My God, My God,” and then is forsaken by His Father. But, yet, in the midst of that horrifying moment, we find a work of such depth and significance that it cannot be grasped save by faith alone. The work is the judgment of sin and our redemption. The work is the love which God has for you and which is expressed in the death of Jesus Christ.
I can ask you if you can imagine the depth of that love but the closest that we could come is to think of those rare times in life when you have felt the awe and wonder of someone’s love for you – an engagement, the birth of a child – those moments that are filled with joy and happiness. But, all of those things pale in comparison to the gruesome picture of Jesus’ crucifixion. Nothing truly compares to it. And, then to say that we are to find this profound expression of God’s love in the midst of it is beyond our comprehension. Expressions of love come in warmth and tenderness and compassion not in torment and anguish and bloodshed. But, that is exactly what we are to find. We are to find a God who loved you so much that He was willing to take your sin and the sin of the whole world, place it on His only Son and then divorce Himself from Him so He could redeem you from death and hell.
Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani. My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me. On that Good Friday, Jesus clung in absolute trust to His Father, the Father who had said at His baptism and then again at His Transfiguration, “This is My Son, whom I love.” And, despite the cries of His Son who asked that the cup be taken from Him, God loosened His grip and let His Son go. God the Father forsook Jesus, His Son, to answer the cries of a world full of dying sinners. And, as Jesus, with His dying breath, asked why, God’s answer was so that these dying sinners – so that you and I – would know that love and be redeemed from all sin and death.
Today, we consider the miracle of God’s love – a love that brings us peace with God through the death of our Lord and a love that brings us hope through His resurrection from the dead.
Heavenly Father, words cannot express the thanks and praise that is due for the salvation You won for us by Your Son’s death on the cross. Thus, as words alone are inadequate, help us to live in such a way You are honored by all that we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Along Life's Way
Learning to live life as it’s meant to be. That’s what we strive to do here at Grace, to live under the cross in the new life that we have in Christ through His death and resurrection. The posts on this blog, grounded in God’s Word, will be offered as a source of encouragement, comfort and strength “along life’s way” to the end that we live lives of service in our homes, in our communities and in our congregations.
The author of this blog is the pastor of Grace, Andrew Green. He is a 2000 graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and has served Grace since January 2002. He is married to Erica and has two children, Clara and John-August.