Thursday, April 1, 2010

"My God, my God!"

"Why have You forsaken me?"

Jesus' anguished words from the cross...

In unimaginable pain, His heart longed for the comfort of His Father. Of all the times He needed strength, needed comfort, it was then. But He says He's been forsaken.

I always hated this part of the story of Jesus' passion worst of all. I mean, it's one thing for the egocentric, nasty, misguided people to kill Jesus. He's forgiving them as they do it. It fits His mission, fits His model for us. It's another thing for evil to kill Jesus. That's to be expected, that it would try to conquer Good while vulnerable, incarnate in limited flesh. But God? If He forsook Jesus while Jesus was dying, was God a co-conspirator to Jesus' torture and death? How could God forsake a part of Himself? To be honest, the theory that God had to temporarily hate Jesus because of Jesus' taking on the sins of the world confused me as a kid (and for many years afterward). If God focused all His "holy fury" on an innocent Man... even if that Man was, in essence, Himself... He was hardly just and merciful... or even very holy.

Where was God as Jesus approached death? Did He withdraw Himself completely from the cosmos, off somewhere beyond comprehension, unfeeling and unseeing?

My friends' newborn baby boy nearly stopped breathing and was life-flighted to the hospital. The father described recently the experience of watching his tiny son receive tracheal intubation. Having to stand by helplessly and watch his son's anguish as the tube was shoved down his throat was more than he could take. His own anguish at his boy's suffering so overcame him that he nearly lost consciousness. He had to leave. And he knew what the Father heart of God was as His Son suffered on the cross.

I can't stop thinking about that picture. It offers a more holistic view of God and enables me to enter more fully into the brokenness of the ultimate sacrifice... the ultimate love.

For you. For me.

"My God!"

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