From Max Lucado’s book, “The Gift For All People”
It was the most gut-wrenching cry of loneliness in history, and it came not from a prisoner or a widow or a patient. It came from a hill, from a cross, from a messiah.
“My God, my God! he screamed. “Why did You abandon me!”
Never have words carried so much hurt. Never has one been so lonely.
The despair is darker than the sky. The two who have been one are now two. Jesus, who had been with God from eternity, is now alone. The Christ, who was an expression of God, is abandoned. The Trinity is dismantled. The Godhead is disjointed. The unity is dissolved.
It is more than Jesus can take. He withstood the beatings and remained strong at the mock trials. He watched in silence as those who loved him ran away. He did not retaliate when the insults were hurled nor did he scream when the nails pierced his wrists.
But when God turned His head, that was more than He could handle.
“My God!” The wail rises from parched lips. The holy heart is broken. The sinbearer screams as he wanders in the eternal wasteland. Out of the silent sky come the words screamed by all who walk in the desert of loneliness. “Why? Why did You abandon me?”
I can’t understand it. I honestly cannot. Why did Jesus do it.? Oh, I know, I know. I have heard the official answers. “To gratify the old law.” “To fulfill the prophecy.” And these answers are right. They are. But there is something more here. Something very compassionate. Something yearning. Something personal.
What is it?
Could it be that His heart was broken for all the people who cast despairing eyes toward the dark heavens and cry the same “Why?” Could it be that His heart was broken for the hurting? Could it be that His desire to take on their pain propelled Him to the cross? If He could Have, wouldn’t He have run to the cross on behalf of all the pain in the world?
I imagine him, bending close to those who hurt. I imagine Him listening. I picture His eyes misting and a pierced hand brushing away a tear. And although He may offer no answer, although He may solve know dilemma, although the question may freeze painfully in midair, He who also was once alone, understands.