Cross in front of Founders Hall



Forsaken for Us

Lent 2021

Read Matthew 27:45-61

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” 55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” With those words we hear how Jesus paid for our sins. The very Son of God is forsaken by God. A definition of damnation is separation from God. Jesus takes our sin upon His broken body. He experiences death (brought into the world because of humanity’s sin in the first place). He experiences not just any death but a most gruesome death brought about because the wickedness of men has been learned how to maximize the pain and torment. Even worse than all of that however, He experiences being forsaken by God. We and all of mankind are the ones who deserve to be forsaken by God. Instead God turned His back on Jesus while to us He says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the earth.” How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God.


Jesus, You turn everything upside down. You took a tool of punishment and judgment; the cross, and turn it into an instrument of grace and mercy. Take my sinful life and turn it upside down as well, that I too might be an instrument of Your grace in this world and the lives of others. Amen.

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