It is precisely at this point that we encounter these tortured words from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus died a sinner’s death and took a sinner’s punishment so that guilty sinners like you and me could be eternally forgiven. He was forsaken that we might never be forsaken. Those who trust in him will never be disappointed, in this life or in the life to come. A hymn by Ann Ross Cundell Cousin beautifully captures the deeper meaning of the cross:

O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy Head!
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead–
Didst bear all ill for me:
A victim led, Thy blood was shed!
Now there’s no load for me.
Death and the curse were in our cup–
O Christ, ’twas full for Thee!
But Thou hast drain’d the last dark drop:
‘Tis empty now for me.
That bitter cup, love drank it up,
Now blessings flow for me.

Jehovah lifted up His rod:
O Christ, it fell on Thee!
Thou wast sore stricken of Thy God;
There’s not one stripe for me.
Thy tears, Thy blood beneath it flowed;
Thy bruising healeth me.

Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries and author of And When You Pray. He has ministered extensively overseas and is a frequent conference speaker and guest on Christian radio and television talk shows. He has authored over 27 books, including Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul, and Why Did This Happen to Me?

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