“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Dereliction is an odd term that we don’t use often, but it means: the state of having been abandoned. This term has been used by theologians for centuries about this cry from Jesus on the cross.
When I first heard it, I was kind of offended. I’d heard the word “derelict” used in a derogatory manner about a homeless guy once, so I didn’t like it being used for Jesus. Yet, here, our Savior, our Rescuer, our perfectly holy Prince of Peace, our Hero is abandoned.
I was abandoned once. When I was in India, I was visiting some missionaries with a group. For some reason, I was late for the bus (not entirely out of character) and the bus left me. I was all alone. I had no phone, no contact numbers, no addresses, nothing. At first, I tried to do some positive self-talk (this sort of thing comes naturally for athletes).
“Sue, you got this. They’ll realize that you’re not there and come back for you.” But time passed and no one returned for me. I began to get more and more afraid. My heart pounded drowning out all of the street noise. More time passed. Even though I have a number of loving friends in India, at that moment, every face I saw seemed like an enemy. I had been left behind. No one knew. I was so afraid.
Jesus’ cry of dereliction is offensive and terrifying.
Many of us know about the cross. We know what happens to Jesus. But this torture goes well beyond the physical pain that his body experienced. His very soul was tortured.
Much of this moment is mysterious. We know that nothing was damaged with his relationship in the Trinity. And, at the same time, he bore enormous sin (that we can’t even understand) for our sake. RC Sproul states that Jesus maintained the holiness of the Holy Spirit, but lost his comfort. Let’s sit there for a minute. We know that the resurrection is coming, but let’s take our minds to the cross…inside the tomb…for three days…waiting with Jesus.
He was dead.
I know that we need to remember that Sunday is coming, but let’s not miss what Jesus endured on Friday and Saturday.
There is hope for the lonely, the tortured and the abandoned. In Christ, we are adopted, atoned for, comforted and made co-heirs with Christ.
Christ’s resurrection scores a victory in many ways. One of these ways is this: he was abandoned so that we might never be. The loneliness I felt in India that day can’t be compared to what Jesus experienced on the cross. And, if we are in him, we can be confident that we will never, ever really be alone.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Cor. 5:21
Posted: 4.17.2017 in Women’s Ministry Share: