Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:46; Psalms 22: 1-19
It is a gut wrenching emptiness to be utterly abandoned. Every one of us know something of that devastating loneliness. We can remember what the emotional pain was like.
These agonizing words spoken by Jesus from the cross are recalled by both Matthew and Mark. They allow us to find in Jesus someone who is kin to us. He knows. He knows exactly.
What is recollected by Matthew and Mark are the opening verses of Psalms 22. Except for the excruciating depth of his pain, Jesus may have quoted aloud the whole Psalm. He knew it by heart. It is a Psalm that foreshadows the very event Jesus is now going through.
There is part of Jesus’ death that we can understand as Jesus dying for us. As in our stead. We can treasure that expression of his love for us. However, it may only be half the fullness of what happened when Jesus died. There is another sense in which Jesus dies not just for us, but with us. He dies in the same way we die when the bottom falls out of life and there seems to be no one to whom we can turn. No one there to hear us. It is the way we die when we cry out loud and ask for help and the heavens seem silent. In that way Jesus dies with us. He knows. He knows exactly.
It may be true that our most profound steps forward in our faith are preceded by just this kind of pathos. Even in the silence, however, God is at His work of redemption. For in the silence God is saying that there is no sin for which you are culpable that he cannot forgive. And there is no sin done to you by others that cannot be healed.
You know what it is to be forsaken. So does He. He knows exactly.