Forsaken | Devotion #4: Pay it Forward
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
We have all been there. Some more than others, but we have all felt the excruciating pain. I am not talking about physical pain, but emotional and spiritual pain. It could be losing a loved one by death or abandonment, or just spiraling into a state of constant, unrelenting temptation and sin. We have all been brought to our rock bottom and fallen before God screaming, “Why?” We have felt ashamed, guilty, scared, and all alone with no one or where to turn. Jesus had a plan in place long before we ever felt this way, and in the end, it works out in our favor.
When I was a young boy, I remember exploring in the woods behind my house. I thought I knew our property well enough to navigate myself through all of the trails. Somehow or another, I found myself lost. I did not have a cell phone or a clue which way was home or which way to the closest trail. All I had was my voice when I could find a deep breath in between crying. I prayed to God quickly, and I asked if He was so powerful, why would He not let my parents find me? Why would He let me get lost?
I now know that God puts us in these situations and lets us experience raw emotions. It helps us learn lessons to become better Christians.
Obviously, Jesus had a little bit of a different situation. Jesus came to this Earth as part of the flesh and experienced first hand the struggles of our life. The temptations, ill thoughts, anger, and frustration were among some of the provoking events. When Jesus was rebuked and beaten, He knew what He was doing. He was about to give the ultimate sacrifice for humankind and save our souls for eternity. He took all of our sins. It covered the past, present, and future for all mankind to secure their place in Heaven if they would believe He did so. At that very moment, when He took on the sin of the world, Jesus was forsaken by God, and Jesus gave us a gift we never deserved. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV), “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus became sin for us. He became sin. He took on our sin. He was cursed, abandoned, and forsaken, all to save us from our sin.
As much as this story warms my heart, I know that Jesus did something that was unimaginably awful. To think of the sheer mass of the amount of sin that He had to bear. He did it for us and our salvation. However, with that sacrifice, He also made the commitment never to leave us in our struggles. Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) reminds us, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
This is our victory in and through Christ. Jesus took our place. He was forsaken, so we do not have to be. He was separated from God, so we do not have to be. He took our sins away so we could have eternal life with Him. It is so important that you recognize that you are never alone in the battle. People take on their battles every day. Everyone has their vice and if we could all just rely on God to help us with these daily battles, I believe that the forsakenness we feel would fade and we would learn to know that God is in control and that when we recognize our inequities, we would learn that He taught us something in His name. Then we can turn around and help someone with the same struggles and tell them they are not alone. God is in control, and He will never forsake you in your desperate time of need.