When God Turned Away
By Keneesha Saunders-Liddie
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46
Every time I have to go out, I make sure my daughter is watching her favorite show, Elmo’s World. Yet, it never fails; as soon as I put my bag on my shoulder, she notices me and says, “up!” She knows I’m going out and she wants to go with me. As much as I’m flattered, I dislike what’s about to happen next.
She can’t go with me and inevitably, the waterworks come, and I walk away with a heavy heart. I’ve often wondered what goes through her mind when her mommy closes the door on her and she has to run into her daddy’s arms.
Similarly, I wonder just how it felt for Jesus to have the sins of the entire world placed on him while God, his Father, turns his back on him.
Since the time he came to Earth as a babe, he had always known God’s presence. When he told Mary and Joseph that he was about his father’s business at 12, when he began his earthly ministry by being tempted in the desert while fasting and everything miracle and good deed he performed up until that very moment, God had been with him.
He felt the Father’s presence and prodding the entire time. He knew God was there, guiding and leading him and reminding him of why he came.
While Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? More than the pain of crucifixion was the agony of the silence of God. Not only did God turn his back on him, but the creatures whom he created were the ones killing him.
Now think about your own sufferings. If anyone can bear with us during our trials, it’s Jesus. He knew what it felt like to be all alone in his suffering.
Jesus could have saved himself; he could have decided to let you and I suffer the consequences that are rightfully ours. But his love allowed him to be nailed to the cross. His love allowed him to be beaten, scoffed, spat at, bruised and ultimately forsaken by God. He died for us. He died for you.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like if God would turned his back on us? Can you imagine the chaos and wickedness that would unfold? I can’t and I don’t want to. Thankfully, God doesn’t slumber or sleep, and he is always aware of everything we are facing. He is even there during the trials we face, not looking on from a distance, but right there, carrying us through.
Jesus isn’t in the grave, he is alive and in heaven interceding on your behalf day and night. In other words, he is our lawyer, always reminding God of the debt that he paid so that every time God looks down on us, he sees us as though we have never sinned. You are justified in the eyes of God and even if Satan tries to accuse you before God, Jesus is there as your defense.
This Easter as we remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, let us also be thankful God is always there for us. That his eyes are everywhere and we never have to experience him turning his back on us because Jesus bore that for us.
Keneesha Saunders-Liddie is a writer, avid reader and Jesus lover. She recently started a blog https://womenlovinggodsway.com to encourage women to show Christian love to others and to share biblical counsel with anyone who needs it. She firmly believes that the bible has the answers to everything that pertains to life. She is a wife, mother and student. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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