What are we to do with these words – “My God My God why have you forsaken me?”
As we reflect upon the cross, these are the words of Jesus which probably cause most problems
How could God turn his back on his own Son?
Many of explained the abandonment as being a consequence of the sins of the whole world past, present and future being thrust on to Jesus like a scapegoat, and that on the cross he becomes a sin offering for us…
So that as more and more sins are thrown at Jesus – it becomes unbearable for the father – for a holy God to look upon him.
The problem with this explanation though is that God is Omnipresent,
He cannot exclude or remove himself from his creation but must look upon sin everyday.
Maybe another way to look at it is that Jesus cry of abandonment mirror the cries of countless millions who suffer oppression, enslavement, abuse, disease, poverty and starvation.
The cry of abandonment mirrors their cries to God
Just as they cry God why is this happening to me?
God where are you?
God why am I suffering?
In the same way Jesus the perfect sin offering feels the cries of the rejected, experiences their pain, identifies perfectly with the millions and millions who have and will suffer.
And at the centre of this decaying world is the cross
In experiencing abandonment and loss God puts his stake in the ground and says “I am here”.
While the cross is about forgiveness it’s also about identification with a suffering humanity.
As we survey the wondrous cross it may feel as though God has left the building – the reality is he is right here in the midst