Easter is a time for reflecting on the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus knew He had to come as a baby, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). He knew He would be beaten, His flesh scourged down to the bone, and nailed to a cross, though He hadn’t sinned. He was mocked, ridiculed, abused and rejected by the crowd
From midday, darkness covered the land. Everyone’s sins past, present and future, including mine and yours, rained down on Him. At 3pm Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me”, and He surrendered His spirit to God the Father (Matthew 27:50). The veil between God and mankind tore from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). We could find salvation in Jesus, forgiveness from our sins and be in relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, living eternally with them in Heaven (John 3:21).
Over the years, Jesus has healed me in so many ways. I will be forever so thankful and eternally grateful to Him.
Sometimes I reflect on the Val I used to be. I was a fearful, agoraphobic, unlovable, hurting, lonely, broken person, but I portrayed a lady who was happy, easy-going, all together, no problems. Ring any bells with you? To be the Val Jesus created has given me such a freedom - knowing who I am, and still learning.
The scripture ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me’ really impacted me. I kept being drawn back to it. Jesus cried out with a loud voice. It was a cry of despair, anguish, and agony.
This cry suggests to me that Jesus wasn’t expecting to be abandoned by God, His Father. Throughout His life on earth, they had always been in relationship. At Jesus’ baptism, a voice from heaven was heard by everyone there, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17). In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
For three hours He hung on the cross in darkness, and He couldn’t see anything. He was totally alone, in agony with pain I can’t even begin to imagine. He was abandoned, isolated, no help from angels in His hour of need, no encouraging words from His Father. His Father’s presence had left Him.
I spoke these words out loud, with feeling. It gave me an idea of the passion and heart-wrenching anguish that Jesus was feeling. There was a cost to Jesus in all that He faced that day. To be forsaken and separated from His Father, I believe, was the deepest personal part of His suffering. Over Easter, I will spend time remembering all that Jesus suffered and accomplished for us that day.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking our sin and laying down Your life. Thank You for taking all the suffering that we deserved, and Your own personal suffering as You faced being abandoned by Your Father. so that we may be saved. As we surrender our lives to You, Lord, help each one of us to know Your presence in our lives daily and stay focussed on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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