Mark 15:34, NIV
“And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)”
As we contemplated the cross afresh this Easter time it occurred to me that the brokenness that Jesus suffered was in spirit, soul and body. As Jesus cried out to the Father, the pain He suffered was far deeper than just physical. A spiritual separation took place between Jesus and the Father as the Son of God laid down His life and became sin for us.
The film ‘The Passion of the Christ’ terrifically depicted the flogging and the physical pain that Jesus went through for us – a most torturous physical death. So weakened was Jesus by the flogging that He needed help in carrying His cross. The story of the crucifixion is one of betrayal, brutality, despair and pain.
In Gethsemane He went through an agony in His soul to the point where He sweated drops of blood. This was emotional agony as His will became subject to His Father’s will. The betrayal of Judas with a kiss was surely an emotionally painful moment for Jesus. A kiss is a symbol of love. How terrible that Judas abused that symbol to betray His Master. And yet Jesus still managed to call Judas His friend.
In Matthew’s account (Matt. 26:56) all the disciples deserted Jesus and fled. He was abandoned by His closest friends – more emotional pain. After this, Jesus was mocked and insulted by the soldiers. As we stand back and look again at all Jesus went through, we see not just physical torture, but also emotional and mental abuse.
And the worst part of the cross was when for the very first time the relationship between Father God and His only begotten Son Jesus was broken as Jesus became sin in our place. At this point Jesus suffered spiritually, crying out “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”(Matthew 27:46).
The most important thing for us to consider is our personal response. It was the deep love of the Father for us that did not spare His only Son. He longed to have relationship with us again, just as God had with Adam in the beginning.
The chief purpose of the cross was that we would be reconciled to the Father through the finished work of Jesus the Son. When the curtain of the temple was torn from Heaven to Earth this was God’s way of saying that we can again have a direct access to the Father without needing a priesthood. The story did not end at the cross but with the victorious resurrection on the 3rd day.
In the long prayer that Jesus prayed in book of John He said (John 17:21-22) “They may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you”. The second Adam, Jesus, through His work on the cross, restored our relationship with the Father so that we can now go into the holy place and KNOW Him.
Let us challenge ourselves today:
Have we applied the finished work of Calvary fully in our lives?
Do we know God?
Do we walk with Him and talk with Him every day?
As the way has been made open for us to go into the holy place and sit with Father and have relationship with him, when did we last go there?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to understand more deeply the finished work of the cross that I may better appropriate every aspect of the cross in my life. I am so thankful for the gift of salvation, the forgiveness of my sins, and the promise of eternal life. In Jesus Name. Amen.