Tag Archives: Cross

What God Gave Up for Lent – Day 2

2. Forsaken


My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. (Psalm 22:1)

This Psalm begins with perhaps the most famous words Christ uttered from the cross: About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46) Don’t think for a moment that Christ did not know that He would be forsaken. This is a potent word. Other translations are: abandon, fail, leave alone, leave behind, and deserted. Christ was willing to be abandoned for you, to be left behind for you; to be deserted for you.

But actually, this question really is rhetorical. Christ knew why there was no answer, why He had been forsaken. He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus the Son] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (1 Cor 5:21) This was not to be a time where the Son was to be delivered. Rather, it was a time where He was cursed, and suffered and died…forsaken—for your deliverance (cf. Deut 21:22)

As Christ cried out, how it must have broken the Father’s heart to not answer, to not even hear. What did it do to the Son’s heart?

Far from my deliverance. Isolated and removed, and indeed, unknown. Christ never needed deliverance before; and yet, when He needed it most, it was not for Him to have.

Are the words of my groaning. The Hebrew word for groaning is more often translated as roaring. Whereas we would think that groaning is a more muted and personal expression, it is actually loud, and should cause a reaction in anyone who would hear it. But God the Father did not listen. And the people at the foot of the cross? They mocked and ridiculed Him for it.

We know that Christ endured all this because of the joy that was before Him (Heb 12:2), but being in the midst of all this was overwhelming. Take a few minutes to read more of Psalm 22, especially verses 1-21, and experience what God gave up for Lent, and what Christ went through for you.


Singing with the King (42) – A Psalm of Extremes (1)

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11

Bethlehem Star 2How great is His lovingkindness (mercy)? For as high as the heavens are above the earth. This shows how lofty His nature, and how low He will stoop for us to receive His mercy.

So, how much higher are the heavens—the dwelling place of God—above the earth? Imagine if we were to progress even beyond Star Trek levels, and could travel to the ends of the universe. Still, no amount of time, no traversing of any distance, will get us to the heavenly realms. They are completely beyond our access and capability. And this is the extreme from which His great mercy is measured.

Even though David is using distance as a metaphor, this is not just a matter of navigation. This also reveals the vast and impassable chasm between creation and Creator. Indeed there is nothing we can mount, build or design to cross this great expanse. But His mercy crossed it.

It also illustrates the contrasts in nature—one being the natural, the other being the supernatural. One is God’s dwelling place, the other is ours. And in keeping with the previous point, God is the One Who must cross, if we are to receive His mercy.

There’s not enough room in all of heaven for you, Lord God. How could you possibly live on earth in this temple I have built? But I ask you to answer my prayer. This is the temple where you have chosen to be worshiped. Please watch over it day and night and listen when I turn toward it and pray. (1 Kings 8:27-30)

God has crossed the great divide, for He has chosen a place for to be worshipped.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (Isaiah 55:9-11)

God did indeed cross the uncrossable. He sent forth His Word. And this does not mean only His Holy Scriptures which He gave to us, but more critically it means He gave us the Incarnate Word, His One and Only Son.

This is how great His mercy, or lovingkindness, is. He gave us His Son. And perhaps this metaphor really isn’t one; for Christ literally dwelt with the Father in Heaven, and He loved us enough to go to the extreme, and come down to us.

Perhaps now we understand how great His lovingkindness is toward us.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. ( 1 John 1:3)