As the sacrifice of Jesus Christ reached its climax, as the sins of the world were being paid for by His suffering and death, there was a moment where God the Father Almighty turned His back on Jesus Christ, His Son. On a spiritual level, Jesus Christ realized that His Father (with whom He has been intimately bound since eternity past) had turned away.
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). —Matthew 27:45-46
This suffering, the most spiritually acute of any suffering that one could imagine, was fully felt; but it did not last. When the sacrifice was complete and all that had been prophesied was fulfilled, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46) and His inseparable union with the Father was reestablished.
Jesus really did suffer in every way humankind does. By being separated from the Father, there is no doubt that Jesus suffered spiritually.
We suffer a “cloudy” spiritual existence today as well. We see God only “dimly.” When we finally leave these fleshly bodies behind, we will finally relate to Him “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). When Jesus ascended to the Father, he made the promise, "I will be with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
Will we experience suffering? Yes. Spiritual dimness? Yes. Spiritual separation? Never again!
Jesus, I believe that You died, completely paying the price for my sins. Thank You that this opens the way for continued spiritual intimacy with You! Would You show me what that means for today? In the hours ahead, lead me into a deeper experience of Your ongoing presence in me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for the cross. Amen.
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