Why Have You Forsaken Me?

I spent a lot of time over the last week reflecting on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It was, as you all know, Holy Week, and I hope and pray all of you spent some time in reflection as well. One of the things I have reflected on was Jesus’ last words.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus cries out, just before his death, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” As I was praying about this and reflecting on it, my prayer led me to God saying the same thing to me, “My son, my son, why have you forsaken me.” I have forsaken God in my life. We all have forsaken Him. Every time we turn our backs on Him and choose our will over His, we forsake our Heavenly Father. I imagine it hurts Him just as much as it hurt Christ when He felt forsaken. The difference is, Christ wasn’t really forsaken by the Father. In His Humanness Christ felt alone, but He wasn’t. The Father was with Him throughout His passion and death. When WE forsake our Father, we really do leave Him. We really do turn our backs on His love for us. And that causes Him pain. He suffers when we turn away from Him.

However, our God is a loving and merciful God. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus calls out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Our heavenly Father says the same to us: “Son, into your hands I commend my Spirit.” Despite our brokenness and sinfulness, God our Father sends us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and guide us. He has not, and will not, give up on us. We must receive the Holy Spirit. We must allow the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to give us the strength we need to overcome our sinfulness. We must use the Holy Spirit to show love and mercy to others just as God shows love and mercy to us.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Holy Week Reflection

“Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness, in your abundant compassion blot out my offense. Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me” (Psalm 51:3-4)

This week we experience the passion and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ’s ministry was one of self sacrifice, of complete and total giving. He wanted and took nothing for Himself. His whole mission and goal in life was to give to us and, more importantly, give glory to the Father. David, in the above psalm, cries out to God for mercy and forgiveness after his affair with Bathsheba. God the Father answered his prayers through sending His Son to die for us. Christ suffered for you. He suffered for me. Christ gave everything that we may be cleansed from our sins. He died a brutal death for all of us.

We to are called to die as well. Life is not about self-gratification. Life is about having the will to die to the temptations of sin. It is about rejecting this world. It will not be easy. Christ never said following Him will be easy. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the most difficult thing any of us can do–letting go, that is. We will be rejected as Christ was rejected. We will suffer as Christ suffered. We may want to turn away and reject what Christ is asking us to do. Christ didn’t want to suffer and die. In the garden of Gethsemane he cried out “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me” (Luke 22:42). None of us want to suffer either.

But Christ could see beyond the suffering. He knew that after the suffering comes the resurrection! Christ could see beyond the pain, the rejection, the anguish. Likewise, we also need to see beyond the suffering, beyond the rejection. Will this world reject us? YES! Will we be resurrected if we remain faithful to the Lord? YES! We need to focus on our own resurrection, not our own passion. Keeping our eyes focused on the resurrection will allow us to do as David says: “I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.” (Psalm 52:15)

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment