45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” Matthew 27:45-46
I’ve always struggled with this passage: We are taught that God is always with us. We are taught that God never leaves our side. We believe He loves us as much as He loved His Son. And yet…
Here was Jesus, in his most final, painful hour. And he felt totally alone. He had lost his connection to God. God had abandoned His most beloved Son.
So what does this scripture really trying to show us? I don’t actually that God ever left Jesus–just like He never leaves us. I think, that at the moment when Jesus felt separated from God–so separated that He felt as though God had abandoned Him–was at the moment that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself.
Now I’ve had some people say, that it was God who pulled away from Jesus because He had taken all of our sin and the imperfection was unbearable to God. But I have a different take on it. Mind you, I make no claim to be any sort of theological expert. While I did attend a Southern Baptist college (go Carson-Newman!), it’s been a decade (or two) since I sat in a New Testament class. This is simply my own interpretation on the scripture as I feel let to share.
I think that Jesus did feel abandoned on the cross because He had taken on all of our sins, but I don’t think that God had left His side. I think it was the sin that made Jesus feel separated from God. The Bible was attempting to show us how sin keeps us from having an intimate relationship with God. He might still be with us, but we cannot feel his presence because we are immersed in sin.
I believe that God loves us no matter what. He loves us no matter what sins we’ve committed. We need to realize that when we are in moments of great trial, great worry, when we are covered in sin–God is still there. God is still here. Waiting.