This past Easter I have been more reflective on the death and resurrection of Jesus. I have personally read more articles on the defence of the resurrection more than any other year. I think what has genuinely caused this is the desire not only to equip myself, but also make sure that I have answers for my children when they inevitably start asking questions. As I read these apologetics articles and read through scripture, one particular thing piqued my interest.
Matthew Chapter 27, verse 46,“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
It is honestly a verse that sends a chill up my spine. Jesus lived and died for mankind. He was brutally beaten and nailed to a cross, one of the worst types of executions that humans could come up with, and in that moment, He became the object of God’s wrath. Sin past, present and future laid upon Jesus for our salvation, but we know this, this is not what had me pondering, it was Jesus calling out to God! Jesus who is eternal, who has spent all eternity with God the Father, forever in His presence, in that moment lost that connection and in what almost sounds like fear, cries out at being abandoned. What must that have felt like? To have been in this perfect union with the Almighty for eternity, to be cut off in that moment, as the sins of the world were poured onto Jesus. I can’t even imagine the anguish Jesus must have felt.
Garden of Eden
My thoughts also went to Adam and Eve and how their connection to God was also cut and were forced out of the garden. God walked with Adam and Eve, he was literally there with them, as they tended the garden and named the animals. They were in his magnificent presence, how wonderful that must have been. Then they sinned and severed that relationship and were cast out. A few years back I actually read some of the “Book of Adam”.A book that obviously could not be verified and therefore was not included in the Bible, but true or not, I felt like it had some interesting insight into what Adam and Eve must have felt like, when they realised the gravity of what their sin had done to break their relationship with God. The book goes onto say that both Adam and Eve attempted suicide!
My personal relationship
I have been a Christian for 22 years and I have had an up and down relationship with God due to my own selfishness and sin, but never once have I ever felt God had abandoned me. I have genuinely felt his presence and guidance in my life for a very long time. My thoughts on occasion have pondered over the thoughts of Jesus rejecting me, or Jesus not being real and honestly the fear that instils in me, the anguish I feel in my heart over the possibility of those thoughts is truly excruciating, the feeling of loss and hopelessness is truly too much to bear.Praise God that this is not something I meditate on, my faith is firm and foundations are deep within the Lord, but it does make me wonder to what extent did Jesus feel the pain of that separation on the cross.
Jesus knew exactly when, how and why he was going to die, he might have even known that he was going to experience something new when the sins of the world were thrust upon him. But for Jesus to cry out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” is something that I personally can never begin to fathom. I don’t think any of us truly know what Jesus sacrificed for us to give us salvation, for our sins to be forgiven. What I do know is that, he did it for us, so that we can have a relationship with the Father, so that we could become heirs to the kingdom of God.
I will always be in awe of Jesus sacrifice for us. If you ever need to ask, how much does Jesus really love me? His response would be, lying down on a cross, arms opened wide.
Jarred is an HPE and Mathematics teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he is married to Haley and has three beautiful children Chelsea, Nathan and Ryan.