Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

The Climb to Calvary - Part IV

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2013 Mar 28


Meditations on The Seven Last Words of Christ


THURSDAY AM: The Fourth Words

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34).

Jesus’ Passion on Calvary is now drawing to its sad and seemingly tragic end.  The skies have been dark, despite the fact the crucifixion occurred during the day in Jerusalem. In the midst of this cataclysmic phenomena, Christ has forgiven His killers (Luke 23:34), converted a sinner (Luke 23:43), and arranged for His mother’s future care (John 19:26-27).

His attention now turns inward, and how can it not? By all human account, Jesus is losing the fight of His life. But that’s not even the half of it. That’s because while His physical pain is overwhelming, the mental and emotional suffering is far worse.  For the very first time, Jesus has experienced a break in His relationship with His father.

When Christ cried out from the cross, many assumed He was calling on the prophet Elisha. In fact, He was quoting Psalm 22:1:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from saving me,
   so far from my cries of anguish

For most people, abandonment is something that happens to someone else. If and when it does impact us, the consequences are devastating.

Following my own mother’s death, my stepfather literally packed up and left our family. I remember the sight of him jumping into a cab just an hour after the funeral. I was just a little boy. Still reeling from the untimely death of my mother, my stepfather just took off and abandoned me and my siblings.


As painful as that experience may be, it cannot adequately compare to what the Lord encountered when enduring separation from His Heavenly Father. Still, that loss of my parents gives me a small hint of the heartache, and more importantly, a renewed appreciation of the price paid for me (and you!) on Calvary.

Jesus shed His blood, and confronted and battled the unfathomable burden of abandonment. Nearly 300 years ago, the hymn writer Charles Wesley pondered the significance of this reality:


And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?


Have you ever felt alone and abandoned? If so, cling to the cross and the comfort that comes with knowing Jesus understands the pain you’ve endured, and He’s right there with you to help you walk through it.



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