I don't know how it is where you are, but where I live it is raining and kind of raw outside, like most Good Fridays I've experienced in my life. On Good Friday, I find my mind drifting to the central image of my faith--the crucifixion of Jesus.
A lot happened that day, and they put him on the cross by 9AM, according to Mark 15:25. Of all the deeds and events that terrible day, maybe one of the most deserving of our reflection are the words Jesus spoke to God, quoting Psalm 22:1--"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like God has left you in the dust or that your sense of justice was completely forgotten and even deserted by God? I know I have. Jesus' words on the cross from Psalm 22 are particularly interesting, as there are many predictions in Psalm 22 about the crucifixion--piercing of hands, being cursed by enemies, thirst, etc.
Many theologians and biblical scholars have tried to look at this kind of hopeless quote of Jesus as a statement of faith. Psalm 22:27-31, in fact, are all about the families and the nations turning to God and bowing their knee before the Lord. Perhaps that is partly why Jesus said it, but I think Jesus was probably sensing absolute disconnection from his Father; he became sin for us, after all, on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Today, as your thoughts turn to the cross, I'd like to encourage you to remember that it was a place where every disappointment you have had with God was met by Jesus. The hope that arises from these moments is that Jesus' sense of despair was not permanent! God raised Jesus up from the grave! Our moments of despair are not permanent either.
Labels: Christianity, cross, death, despair, discipleship, Easter, Good Friday, Jesus Christ, resurrection, sin