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Abandoned by Jews and betrayed by Judas, Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross. Suffering excruciating pain and with darkness creeping in, Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27: 46)
Why did Jesus utter those words? Did he believe that God had abandoned him?
How is it possible that the Son of God might feel abandoned? Part of the answer may be that Jesus was a human being. Like us, He was emotional. He wept before asking God to raise Lazarus from the dead. He felt joy in keeping his Father’s commandments. He felt compassion for the poor and disadvantaged. He got angry and turned over the tables of money changers in the temple.
But feelings can cloud the truth of God’s love for us. Loneliness felt from a chronic illness might cause one to withdraw from Christian fellowship. Fear felt from homelessness might cause one to not ask the Church for help. Embarrassment felt from unemployment might trigger guilt and shame.
Jesus’s emotions on the cross were real and so are our emotions. Somehow, someway, we must replace negative emotions with the knowledge and assurance that God loves us no matter what our circumstance.
Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that God will never leave or forsake us. Period. So, despite feelings of abandonment, God’s promise to Jesus and all Believers is that He holds us tightly. May you feel his loving hugs when the storm clouds of forsakenness surround you.
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