Last Words: Day Three
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
From all eternity, God has existed in community – that glorious reality called Trinity. God exists in a relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit in such a way that there are three and yet God is one. The concept defies math and transcends human, finite comprehension but teaches us so much about the nature of reality.
First, God is relational at His core. Second, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is the essence of His character in such a way that He is not just “loving” or one who engages in the act of love but He is love. Love is His identity that permeates His being. Finally, this love is the motivation for the actions that flow from the Trinity. The Trinity created the universe as an act of love. Because of the eternal, infinite love between Father, Son, and Spirit, they decided to create humanity in order to share the glory of that love. Love is like that: it demands to be shared.
And so, as God created, He made the first humans in such a way that they enjoyed unbroken, unhindered access to Himself. Those first humans, described in the early chapters of the Bible, only knew loving trust of their creator. They walked with Him and talked with Him. Then, sin entered the picture, and sin is simply doing life apart from God. From then on, humanity struggled with isolation and loneliness and confusion which led to fear and hate and self-protective strategies for doing life.
Jesus entered human history in order to bring redemption to the broken relationship between Creator and His creation. As He went to the cross, the mission was glorious:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Something that God the Son (Jesus) had never known was the anguish and suffering of separation from God the Father and God the Spirit. In taking our “sin” (the results of doing life on our own) on Himself, He experienced a breach in the eternal relationship of love. And so, He cried out on the cross: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” It was a statement of deep despair. The physical sufferings of the cross were brutal but nothing compared to the torment of feeling isolated and alone.
He voluntarily, in love, took upon Himself the horror of being alone and its ultimate consequences so that we would never have to live isolated and alone ever again. This is the healing that His wounds produced. We are invited to receive the forgiveness of sins as a gracious, loving gift and then move back into enjoying unhindered access to Him (Hebrews 10:19-22). This is why God can say “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
How will you enjoy the gift of unhindered access to Him today? Are you feeling alone or isolated? Remember that the Trinity invites us to do life with them. We may feel forsaken but there is a deeper reality we can trust. Even more, an experience of His love is ours to enjoy through prayer. Franciscan writer Ilia Delio put it this way: “Through prayer, I am drawn into the dance of the Trinity.” It is participating in this dance that the remnants of our wounds are healed and transformed as we learn to be loved and to love in return.
Pray a simple prayer today (throughout the day):
Father, I am so grateful that I am no longer separated from You because Jesus endured forsakenness for me. Give me the courage to trust our relationship when I feel otherwise. Speak to my heart and tell me what’s on Your heart. What are you doing? What do you want me to notice? Amen.
This is a prayer that allows us to dance with the Trinity and experience the love we were created to enjoy. “For your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)