My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Psalm 22:1-8 ESV
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:31, 39-43, 46 ESV
Hansel and Gretel lived with their father and stepmother at the edge of the forest. Their father was a poor woodcutter, and they often didn’t have enough to eat. Their stepmother was selfish and greedy and cruel, and she talked their father into abandoning the children deep in the forest. They planned to leave the children to die so there’d be more food for them. Their father was foolish and weak, and he did what his wife told him to do, even though he really didn’t want to. This is only a story, and in real life good fathers would never abandon their children like that.
Psalm 22 is an amazing psalm. It was written long, long before Jesus came into the world, but the words show a lot of what happened when Jesus was crucified. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God, his heavenly Father turned his back on his only Son when Jesus carried the sins of all the world to the cross. People laughed and made fun of Jesus when he was hanging on the cross. Jesus had said that he was the Son of God, and the people didn’t think God would ever abandon Jesus if Jesus really was his Son. They said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.” In a way they were right. Jesus could have come down from the cross, but it was on the cross that Jesus paid the price for our sins. He couldn’t save himself from the cross because he wanted to save us. That’s why he allowed himself to be put on the cross, and that’s why God abandoned his only Son.
Because of what Jesus did for us, God is now our heavenly Father, and we are his children. All our sins have been paid for by Jesus, and we are completely forgiven. Jesus was forsaken by his heavenly Father because of our sins, and because of that we can be sure that God will never abandon us. God is a true and good Father to us, and he always loves us and forgives us for Jesus’ sake.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving up your only Son so that our sins could be forgiven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.