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Mar
09

A Word to those who feel Forsaken (part 2)

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As darkness covered the land, Jesus calls out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This is a strange thing for the Son of God to utter. Jesus’ relationship with God the Father had been a hallmark of his existence. Consider the following:

“In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word was with God and the word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)

“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:17)

“Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32)

“I pray that they will all be one, just as you (the Father) and I are one.” (John 17:21)

Jesus always referred to the Heavenly Father as “Abba.” It’s an intimate, familial word that would be similar to our own English word “papa” or “daddy.” But on the cross Jesus uses the generic term for God: Eloi. Even in the Garden of Gethsemene as Jesus poured out his heart as he faced the cross Jesus referred to God as Abba.

For the first time in eternity, Jesus experienced separation from the Father. That thought raises a lot of theological questions that the Scriptures simply don’t answer. Nonetheless, Jesus felt forsaken because he was forsaken. 2 Corinthians 5:21 affirms, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Martin Luther wrote, “at that moment Jesus became the greatest sinner there ever was.”

Hell, whatever it is, it is ultimately separation from God. Hell is no more about fire and brimstone than heaven is about gates of pearl and streets of gold. Heaven is about the perfect, eternal presence of God. Hell is about complete and utter separation from God. Like Jesus experienced on the cross as he was made sin on our behalf.

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