“And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?” which means,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46
Every time I hear or read this passage my heart is struck by the pain of his abandonment, rejection, and isolation. I believe that every adult can feel the pain and anguish of Jesus feeling abandoned on that cross, alone, left to die. At some point in each of our lives there has been a time of rejection, isolation, and abandonment. For some of us it has lasted weeks, for others days, and some of us only moments. These are the times that all hope is lost and there is a feeling of falling through a deep abyss with no bottom, alone.
This passage reveals the humanity of Jesus Christ. As Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ was completely God and completely human, we call it the hypostatic union. It doesn’t make sense or seem logical but then again this is about faith. Many people believe that Jesus was more God than man and some believe the opposite. Jesus was completely equal 100% God, 100% human. This passage illustrates his humanity. Jesus must know somewhere deep within that he is about to return to God the Father but in that excruciating pain, and isolation he gives into his humanity and cries out why God, why? How often have we said, “Why God, why me, why now, why this, why God, why?” We question our God, faith, and understanding of the world around us. Jesus Christ in his humanity was without sin however, he was a man and was able to feel the pain and abandonment. It is not uncommon for the most faithful to doubt God; Mother Theresa did for years, St. John of the Cross, even Thomas doubted and he knew Jesus Christ personally.
So, this is one of the actions we take as humans. This is a real way that we unite with Jesus Christ on the cross. Never forget that there is hope in the cross, without the cross there could be no resurrection. When the weight of the world is upon you and the struggle is beating you down, realize that God took that pain for you and was resurrected as you will be one day. Have hope for Jesus Christ has beaten death for you. He felt abandoned but was not, he felt forsaken but was loved so much that he conquered death and rose again to be seated at the right hand of his father, our father. Remember this, there is hope even in the pain.