And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:33-49
I’ve never really been much of a Lent observer. I mean, I know about the Lenten season and I sometimes attend an Ash Wednesday service. But as far as observing Lent like some of my friends do: fasting, prayer, daily readings, I don’t really do that. Maybe I should.
I’ve been seriously considering fasting taxes this year.
The other day my wife and I were having a conversation about one of our adult-ish children (he’s 20) who was acting erratic and over emotional about an issue at work. When we thought he was out of ear-shot we said some things about him and his overreaction to each other. Things that were blunt and not for his ears.
He was sitting around the corner and heard every word. We tried to act like it was no big deal, but he was offended. “You were talking about me, weren’t you?” he asked. “What? Just now you mean? No, no. We were talking about our taxes. The taxes are ridiculous and over bearing. It’s our taxes we were talking about.”
He didn’t buy it. Me either. It was the worst acting I’ve ever done. We lied to him about what we said about him. That double hurt him. Not only were we belittling his reaction to the issue at work, but we lied to him about belittling him.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been forsaken. But I think our son felt a little forsaken that day. The abandonment of our honesty and forthrightness to his face was a forsaking event to him. After some strong words and fancy dance moves to belie the guilt I was feeling, I eventually went up to his room where he was laying in the dark on his bed looking at his phone. “Hey, bud, I just want to say I’m sorry for lying to you.”
He forgave me and we talked it out.
I can’t imagine what Jesus felt at being forsaken by His Father. Forsaken like big time. Literally abandoned, deserted, by this Father while He hung there dying as nails held Him to a cross. I can’t imagine that. But I want to.
Lent is a time to honor the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. When I remember that it’s my sin, my lying, my pride, my hatred that are the actual nails holding Jesus to the cross, well, that crushes me. And I want to remember that. Feel that. It helps me honor my Savior’s sacrifice.
Prayer: Jesus. I’m mortified at the thought of forsaking You with my words and actions. Your Father forsook You because of Me. I’m sorry for that. Thank You for loving me anyway. I mean really loving me. Like I’ve never been loved before. Ever. This Lent, I want to press into that remembering. I love You so much. Amen.
Pastor Kim Skattum, Senior Pastor
Crossroads American Baptist Church
Northglenn, Thornton and Fort Lupton