“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” Psalm 22:1
At our Good Friday service last night we looked at the bare wood of an altar that had been stripped of all the usual ornamentation, and we heard about the special sacrifice Jesus made for us. One we don’t think about very often. When Jesus took the sins of the world upon himself, he was temporarily separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit. He was stripped of the companionship that He had enjoyed since birth. He became in one final way like us: separated from God. He was utterly alone.
Although I have often heard about the physical sufferings Christ endured on the cross, I don’t think I had contemplated this deep emotional pain before. Think about it. Even when the earthly friends of Jesus did not understand Him, or deserted Him, He had his union with the other two persons of the trinity to comfort and sustain Him. Now he lost that, too.
I’ve been married for 44 years, so I have become accustomed to this union with my husband. When we are separated for just a few days, I feel uncomfortable. I want to talk with him and I can’t; I need some help and he is not there; I long for a hug and he is out of reach. If my husband were to die, I would experience deep grief and pain. Probably greater than any other pain I can imagine. Multiply that many, many times and it still doesn’t come close to how Jesus felt. His union was perfect and continual. Jesus knew this would happen. He contemplated it in the garden. Yet He still submitted to His Father’s will. He made this sacrifice for me and for you. How does this make you feel? What are you willing to give up for the one who sacrificed so much for you?
“Although He was a son, he learned obedience through what he had suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, …” Hebrews 5:8-9″