I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken

There is a cost to everything that we receive. While we may not pay for it out of our own means, that does not mean that it was truly free or cheap. From something as simple as breakfast biscuits at work to salvation, it cost someone to provide us those benefits. That is so true of our salvation through Jesus Christ. I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken.

I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken is seen in the passage from Mark 15 below. We see the culminating acts of Jesus’ incarnation in the passage. By this time, He had already been crucified. He was on the cross. Mark tells us some things that happened. Let’s get to it.

Mark 15

33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken. Verse one tells us that Jesus’ road to the cross began early in the morning. It was probably around 6 a.m. based on the account of how time is communicated in the passage (see NKJV). The third hour equates to 9 a.m. which is why I stated that Jesus’ journey to the cross started at or around 6 a.m. By 9, He had been flogged with a whip that contained bone which tore open His back. He had been mocked for being King. He was made to carry His cross part of the way.

Now in the passage above, we learn three hours after Jesus had been nailed to the cross that darkness came over the whole land. There has been some debate whether that was an eclipse. That has been refuted because the Passover occurs during a full moon where the earth is between sun and the moon making a solar eclipse impossible. I am not a cosmologist, so that is not the focus of what I am examining. The text tells us that darkness came over the land until three in the afternoon. I do know and believe that God caused this phenomenon to illuminate that I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken.

It is at three in the afternoon that Jesus “cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).” Why did Jesus say that? Why did Jesus say that God abandoned or deserted Him? From what I have read and been told Jesus was experiencing separation from God because the sins of man were upon Him. It was during this time that Jesus ever experience a darkness from the absence of His light as the Son. He had become the sin offering for man. He was completely cut off from God. Jesus handled being betrayed by Judas and disowned by Peter, but being separated from God was too much. It was anguish for His soul. Proverbs 18:14 says, “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”  What was going on? As He constantly did, Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. In Psalm 22, David foretells of Christ’s experience which Jesus quotes.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest. tells us.

Psalm 10:1 says, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Jesus was alone for the first and only time in eternity or in time. Because God cannot look on sin, God separated Himself from Jesus. Jesus was experiencing being away from God. I know we can’t really relate, but just image all the love you have for the people you most love; then, you are separated from them. In essence, they are dead. You have no more benefit from being in their presence. That is a pretty poor example, but it was the best that I could give you to illustrate I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken.

Jesus willingly experienced being separated from God. He died separated from God. How horrible would it to be totally alone in death. That is what Jesus experienced. He was all alone because of our sin, but it was necessary in order for man to have forgiveness of his sins. Some have proposed that the darkness was symbolic of being out of the light of God. Jesus was not in God’s presence when the sins of the world were placed upon Him. Again, I am sure that this is too wonderful for me to fully grasp, but I do know what it means to be alone and feel the anguish of being cut off from people I love dearly. I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken.

Your forgiveness was wrought through Christ being forsaken. Since He gave up everything for us, isn’t He worth you giving up everything for Him? That should be a resounding YES! Despite that, we, in our sin, are so selfish that we want our cake, salvation, and eat it too, to live life as we desire, our sin. God is calling us all to surrender our will to His. “14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15  “21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken.


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