Read Mark 15:33-34
33-34 At midday darkness spread over the whole countryside and lasted until three o’clock in the afternoon,and at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,’My God,my God,why have you forsaken me?’ (JBP)
This is the one and only time Jesus didn’t call God his father. He addressed him as ‘God’. This alone indicates something had happened in his relationship with God. In fact what had happened was that Jesus was bearing the weight of the guilt of all human wrongdoing on himself. He therefore endured the consequences of that which was utter separation from God.
For one who had only ever known intimacy with God,this was true forsakenness.
In one sense,God was ‘absent’ from Jesus on the cross. Jesus was not conscious of his presence but only his absence. And yet God was indeed present at that time. He was present,was active. He was overseeing the means by which human beings could be brought back to friendship with him. At the very moment Jesus was forsaken,men and women were being given the chance of new life.
Perhaps this is also part of a wider story. We wonder at times if God has gone away,we wonder if he is truly with us. This episode from that first Good Friday reminds us that God is present even when he seems absent. Our feeling forsaken at that moment does not mean we are forsaken forever.