Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Glory To His Name"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 15:34 – And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (ESV)
I am the maddy: the mummy-daddy. Caroline and I work as a team. She earns my living so that, for my part, I can enjoy being at home. I do the majority of chores, running the day-to-day stuff of life and wrangling with the children. I sometimes think that I am a bit mad myself. Conversely, the rest of the family says that I am the dummy: the daddy-mummy.
It is all about relationship, perspective, and how we see ourselves.
One of my daughters has been entreating me for more breakfast treats — biscuits, chocolate, and other sweet stuff — having already had her breakfast. In the end, I had to gently send her away from the kitchen because, at seven o'clock in the morning, there is only so much grace and patience that I can exhibit before sitting down to eat my own breakfast. I could have justified it by saying that it was not good for her, but that would not have been the real reason!
Fortunately, unlike me, God has endless patience and more grace than I can pull together early in the morning. Today's verse focuses on the broken relationship at the cross between Father and Son. God had to distance Himself from Jesus because of the Father's holiness as Jesus became sin in order to pay the price for our sin. I believe that it must have been a real emotional shock for Jesus, but not a surprise, because it is a consistent consequence of what Jesus had to do. For Jesus, this was His first — and last — experience of separation from the Father. His Father was not impatient or displeased — it was a requirement of His holiness. It must have been hurtful, too, for the Father, but a Father bursting with love for His Son.
Father and Son did all of this for us, so we can rest assured that God is always listening, always willing to commune with us via the Holy Spirit.
Grace is a marvellous thing, and in it God models how a loving relationship works. Love overcomes and reaches out. The capacity for a loving relationship is hardwired into our being, and it is an important part of why we are created: to live eternally with Him in relationship as His bride.
So, as God's loving children, we can follow Jesus' example. As we live in His Spirit, we become more like Him. The next time when we find ourselves coming up short in the grace department, we can hold out our hands and cry out for more grace to handle whatever is going to happen in our day. Remember that however desperate our situation, however far we have fallen from grace, or whatever we feel, God will never turn His back on us.
Prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we rejoice that You have prepared the way for us to be in relationship with You forever. Thank You, Jesus, that You did not shrink back from dying a messy death, to open up the way for us to be loved and accepted, and to be heard without limit or rejection. Amen.