by Pastor Greg Laurie
Christ's Most Painful Moment
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:45-46
Undoubtedly, the physical suffering that Christ experienced on the cross races through nearly everyone's minds as His most painful moment. Others may think of Jesus' brutal scourging that preceded the Crucifixion. What might shock you is that neither of these events stands as His most painful moment. Jesus' most painful moment occurred on the cross after darkness enveloped the land. At that instant, He cried out the words, " 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' " (Matthew 27:46).
But why was this agonizing cry to God Christ's most painful moment? I believe at this instant Jesus - for the first time - experienced separation from God the Father. This temporary division from God was more than likely the unique situation that Isaiah prophesied of when he said the Suffering Servant would bear our iniquities (see Isaiah 53:11). In fulfillment of those words, Jesus - the Suffering Servant - bore the sins of the world on the cross.
Don't misunderstand Jesus' cry to God. Christ was not angry with Him. Notice how He intimately referred to God as, "My God." Jesus was not accusing God of deserting Him. He was crying out to God, yearning for that fellowship they once had. Listen, we too will have times when we feel far from God. There will be times in life when we don't understand how God is working. This is not the time to turn from God; it's the time to turn to God. For God is still there for us. Because of Christ's most painful moment upon that rugged cross, we can boldly proclaim, "God will never leave us nor forsake us" (see Hebrews 13:5).
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.