And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46
Readings: Matthew 27:27-47; Isaiah 53:1-12 (NKJV Bible Gateway)
Jesus was scourged and beaten severely by the Roman soldiers. They mocked Him and ridiculed Him. The soldiers demanded that He walk from the Governor’s headquarters to Golgota carrying a big piece of a wooden cross. His beaten body, bruised and scourged, could barely walk, much less carrying a heavy piece of wood. The soldiers saw a man passing by, Simon of Cyrene, and compelled him to help Jesus carry the big piece of wood. (Matthew 27:27-32). Then they crucified Him along with the other criminals. (Matthew 27:35-38)
The people of Israel, the religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers all saw Jesus hanging on the cross and mocked Him. They spoke unkind and insulting words. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save…” (Matthew 27:39-44).
Jesus did not say a word against them. He did not call out for His angels to consume them. He did not use His power to call for lightning from heaven to strike those who insulted Him. But instead He took it all upon Himself – the shame, the humiliation, the insults, the mocking, and the beatings. Jesus chose love, instead of defending Himself. The pain was too much for His earthly body. And Jesus cried out to His Father:
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46
That was the cry of pain and agony. Did God forsake His only Son? Lord Jesus, why did you say these things?
The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament said,
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord [n]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)
Jesus carried our sins. All the sins of men were imputed to Him. He took all the punishment for our sins, so we do not have to its eternal consequences. All the sin of the world was laid upon Him. The ultimate penalty of sin is death – or separation from God. For that moment, God had to turn away from His Son because Jesus became a bearer of sin. God and sin cannot be together. God our Father in heaven is holy and pure. Jesus took all the sin and the punishment of sin, so I do not have to carry and suffer the penalty of sin, which is death, eternal death. Jesus paid it all.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing to give Yourself for us, and for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You that You took my sin, and the punishment of sin, so I could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father and live with You for eternity.