We have just finished Easter, the most important time for Christians. And as I reflect on the final moments of Jesus on the cross, his final words come to mind. My God my God, why have you forsaken me?
We understand that Jesus did not believe that the Father had forsaken him. We also understand that Jesus knew why he was on the cross. Yet these words confuse us.
Consider the true nature of Jesus. At all times he is one hundred percent God, but also one hundred percent man. At this moment we see Jesus’ full humanity on display. In his pain, in his difficulty, in his agony, he cried out to the father.
There are a few lessons we can take away from the final moments on the cross. First, it is okay for us to cry out and question God. Here we see Jesus, the God of the universe who created everything, our Lord and savior expressing his frustration, his confusion, and his struggle to try to understand and make sense of what the Father was doing at this moment in his Humanity.
We know that God is good. We know that God works together all things for the good for all those who love Him according to his purpose. But in our Humanity, we still don’t understand what God is doing. In our Humanity, we might be confused and frustrated or maybe even angry. But it is in these moments that we must remember that God is inviting us to cast all our cares on him because he loved us.
The second thing we can learn is even though we cry out to God, He may never give us an answer to why. Jesus reached out to the Father, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” and in response there was silence. There are times in our lives when we cry out to God, “Why are you allowing this to happen to me?” And as we continue to cry out to God, why why why, we must accept the fact that there will be times in our lives when even though we may ask the question why, God may never answer. Ask yourself, if God were to answer your question why, would it make you feel any better? Would it take away the pain?
We have to be careful not to confuse silence with absence. Sometimes we assume that because God has not answered our prayers, he must not care about us. Or that he does not hear us. Just because He is silent doesn’t mean He is absent from our lives. In reality, God is doing things behind the scenes that you and I have no idea about. There are so many times in my life when I would cry out to God and I didn’t understand God’s plan but when I look back, I can see all that God was orchestrating behind the scenes.
The final lesson we can learn is that Jesus understands our pain. He understands what it’s like to be betrayed. He understands what it’s like to be denied. He understands what it’s like to be humiliated. He understands what it’s like to be tempted. He understands all the difficulties and all the pains that you and I are dealing with because he went through them too.
The next time you are dealing with difficulties I encourage you to remember that it is okay to cry out to God, to express your heart to God, to give all your pain and burdens, and cast your cares upon Him. But accept the fact that God may not ever explain why He is doing whatever He is doing, and because God may be silent that doesn’t mean that He is absent in your life because the Bible says that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
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