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Mark 268 - Abandoned



At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.


And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).


Mark 15:33,34


When was the last time you were left out of the conversation? People were talking and it seemed like you weren’t important enough to be included. Your opinion wasn’t asked for or taken into account. They decided without actively asking your thoughts or opinions.


Or maybe you were physically forgotten? Someone, or maybe a crowd of people have moved on and left you behind. If they were strangers it hurts. If they were friends, it hurts more. If it was a relative, it really hurts. If it was your family, the sting is unbearable.


That’s how our one son came to us. The first time his parents abandoned, they ran away from him. But he found them. The next time they did a better job of running away after leaving him behind. He was found by a local official who took care of him while they tried in vain to find his parents. Eventually he was turned over to a state orphanage. He was five.


As awful as this was, as painful as that was, it is only a shadow of this separation between Jesus and his Father. They had known the most intimate of relationships in the universe. They literally were one from all eternity past.


There had never been a moment of separation. There had never been any misunderstanding or miscommunication. There was never a second when the Son even thought of wanting something at the expense of the Father. Or the other way around.


They always were giving praise to each other. Pointing to the other to receive praise. Honoring each other. They would submit to each other. Defer to the other’s wishes.


There was no selfishness between the Father and the Son. No arguments over who went first. Who got what. They perfectly shared the spotlight of heaven without even a tinge of envy. There wasn’t even a second of dashed hopes, regrets, or ill feelings.


And from this eternally loving relationship, for the first time, there’s a break in their constant loving communion with one another. And not by accident. And why would he choose to do this?


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


2 Corinthians 5:21


Jesus wasn’t a sinner like the rest of humankind. He never sinned in word, thought, action, or attitude. But, the debt for our sin was put on him so that he could pay the price for us. In our place.


Jesus willfully became a sin-offering, He died on our account. In our place. And he did this to bring us back to God. It would be one thing if he dies for his own sins, but his dying for the sins of others certainly intensified His sufferings.


Words are a poor tool to try and explain what’s going on here. Jesus chose the cross, and everything that went along with it. Not for himself but for you and me. And what kind of people are we? Are we worth the trouble? Sacrifice? Pain? Being separated from the Father?


For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!


Romans 5:10


Enemies. That’s right, we were God’s enemies. We were in opposite camps, and we weren’t on the winning side. The right side. We were separated from God, and we had done the separating. We were the ones who pulled away from our loving heavenly Father and creator.


It was into this separation, this breach, this canyon that Jesus put himself. He came to make it possible for us to be brought near to God. We pulled away, breaking God’s heart and law. Yet God responded by paying our debt without anything from us. No down payment. No signed contract saying that we’d do better.


No, he did this all on his own. He took the initiative. He did it all. He did the dying. He did the suffering. He paid the price. He took our place without us being at his side. No, we will still his enemy when he died in our place.


He didn’t leave us abandoned. And that’s truly amazing grace.

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