My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All the time Jesus was on earth, he was fully human and fully divine. Two natures, one person. How exactly this could be is a mystery, but there is one very powerful moment of love that we may not have thought enough about in our lives. If Jesus had a fully divine nature on earth, how is it he could feel abandoned?
What we must realize at the start is that Jesus became fully human out of love for us. It was his love that led him to the cross, not some strange desire to suffer. It was his love that was poured out for us so that we could be saved. And so at every moment of the incarnation Jesus was fully offering himself out of love to forgive our sins and to offer salvation.
So if it is the case that Jesus has a divine nature, how is it he could have felt abandoned by God? How could he say, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” At that moment, did he really feel abandoned by God? No.
At that moment, Jesus felt the full weight of our sin, even though he himself did not ever sin. It was the crushing feeling of abandonment our sin causes at that moment that Jesus felt. While Jesus did not sin, he felt the abandonment and brokenness of sin. And when we sin, it is true, by sinning, we abandon our faith in God. We abandon all it is God has done for us.
So, in the desperate cry, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” we see the depths of Jesus’ love for us. Indeed, this entire Holy Week is one great action of Jesus love for you and for me and for all people. By feeling the weight of being abandoned, Jesus was able to show us that we are never abandoned, we are always loved by God.
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