“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me’?”
“. . .but was in all points tempted like as we are. . .”
Such was how the anonymous author of Hebrews described Jesus, our Great High Priest, in Heb. 4:15c. And, there’s little doubt today’s Manna was foremost in his thinking as he penned these words under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.
There’s no way we can fathom the depth of anguish Jesus felt that day when these words of David, found in Ps. 22:1, sprang from His lips. But, one thing was/is certain: No longer do we ever need to wonder if the Heavenly Father knows what we’re going through. . .the suffering we’re enduring. . .or the thick darkness of despair.
How well He knows—this One “Who knew no sin but became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).
Think of it:
Before Jesus came, God the Father didn’t know what it felt like to be weary and thirsty (Jn. 4:6-7). He didn’t know what it felt like to be despised and rejected. . .mocked and scorned. . . betrayed. . .physically beaten. . .or die an agonizing death, surrounded by gambling soldiers and cowardly followers.
Yet, He did it. For you and for me.
And, it was during that thick darkness that fell over the land from 12:00 noon-3:00 p.m. that our Savior felt the full weight of our sins. And, it was during that time that Christ knew what it feels like when our sins separate us from the Father’s Face.
And, that’s why He cried “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Truly, there’s never been a greater depth of despair experienced by anyone than that experienced by God’s own Son at that moment. And, it’s because of this that He comes to us when all hope seems lost, whispering “Do not fear, My Child. I’ve been where you are; now let Me fill your heart with My Hope (Heb. 6:18). Just place your hand in Mine and trust Me. Everything will be okay.”
Thankfully, shortly after our Lord uttered those forlorn words of forsakenness, He cried “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit” (Lk. 23:46) and “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30a) as He “bowed His Head and gave up the ghost” (Jn. 19:30b).
Dear Pilgrim, on this day between “Good Friday” and Easter or “Resurrection Day,” spend some time reflecting on our Manna. Close your eyes and try to imagine how Jesus must have felt at that moment. Then, remember that He went through all of that so that we might be forgiven, receive everlasting life and spend eternity with Him. The way into His Holiest is now open (Mk. 15:38; Heb. 10:19-20) and the Invitation to draw near has been given (Heb. 4:16; 10:22; Mt. 11:28-30; Is. 55:1-3; Rev. 22:17). Come to Him now.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated April 3, 2010