Continuing along this week in the "7" series, we focused on the subject of loneliness. While sometimes it is nice to be alone, we never like the thought of being lonely. The moment on the cross that we studied this week shows us what is probably the darkest moment in history as Jesus experiences loneliness like He never had, and in a way that we never have to.
As we read Matthew 27:45-49 we looked that the statement Jesus made "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken Me?" There is a lot going on around this statement that I wanted the students to understand before thinking about loneliness. This is the only statement that Jesus made from the cross that is in more than one Gospel, the other being in Mark 15:34. Jesus is quoting Psalm 22:1. They give Jesus a drink in verse 48 because He would have there made the statement "I am thirsty" that is listed in John 19:28.
Next, many thought that they were calling for Elijah. First of all when He said "Eli, Eli" it would have sounded close to the Hebrew name for Elijah. Also based on tradition from the last two verses in Malachi, they believed that Elijah would come before the Messiah. The thing is they were still looking for Elijah to come, but they had missed that it was John the Baptist that Malachi is talking about here. Jesus explained to his disciples in Matthew 17:10-13 that John the Baptist is the Elijah that many had been looking for but did not recognize.
Verse 45 tells us that darkness fell over the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour. This would have been from 12 noon to 3 pm. On a normal day it would be sunny and bright during this time, but not on this day. I believe this quite darker than a regular overcast, I believe it was very dark. I am sure to have been alive at this moment you could sense the heaviness of what was taking place. Darkness fell as in this moment Jesus bore the sins of all mankind and Jesus was experiencing God's righteous anger.
Jesus asked "Why have you forsaken me?". I do not for a moment believe that Jesus was asking this question as not knowing what was going on. But instead was crying out in agony. He had experience physical pain from the beatings and the torture. He had experienced emotional pain from being ridiculed and rejected. Now He was experiencing an emotional pain like no other. The word forsaken means to leave or abandon. At this moment since Jesus was bearing the sins of all mankind, God had to temporarily turn His back on Jesus. In this moment Jesus experienced abandonment by God. Until now they had experienced uninterrupted fellowship, but now that stopped. Jesus was experiencing heartbreak like never before. If you think about the saddest moments in your life, where you have experienced the most heartache, it does not even compare to what Jesus was enduring at this moment.
Here is the beauty of it- Jesus spoke these words so that we would never have to! Jesus experienced this abandonment that we never have to experience. If we accept Jesus as our personal savior, we can have uninterrupted fellowship with God. There are going to be many days where we feel lonely and abandoned by the people here on earth. However we can take joy in knowing that God will never leave us nor forsake us as it is stated multiple times in the Bible. I do not know what you are experiencing personally today. But I want to encourage you to know that you can be excited in knowing that God will never leave you!