“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46
This was the fourth word on the cross. It is too mysterious for explanation, and we may only ponder it with hushed hearts for a little.
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” It was not the nails in his flesh, nor the insults of scoffing enemies, nor the ignominy of the cross, but the fact that Jesus for the time had lost the sense of the Father’s presence, that made the grief of the hour.
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” What had he, the beloved Son, done that the Father should forsake him? It would not have seemed so strange if he had forsaken the angels or the saints living in glory; but why should he forsake his own Son?
“My God!” Why does he not say “My Father”? He said “Father” in the first word on the cross, and in the very last; why is it “My God” here? Has he in the darkness lost the consciousness of sonship? Does he seem pushed far away from home, from the Father’s heart, from the bosom where from all eternity he had reposed? So it seems. Yet mark how his faith clings in the darkness: it is still “MyGod!” He has not lost faith even in the darkness. His faith holds, though he cannot see God’s face. No matter how dark the night about us, how heavy the cross that weighs us down, how lonely and deserted we may feel, we should never lose faith in God. Behind the blackest clouds his face ever beams with love. He is still our God, though for the time he may have left us alone.
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” Can we answer this “why”? We know only that Jesus was bearing our sins; and that it was for our sake he had to endure this hiding. He was forsaken then for a small moment that for all eternity we might enjoy the favor of God and dwell in communion with him.