FOUR: Dereliction

19 03 2008

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46

Crucifixion is one of the most horrible ways we can dehumanize another person. In this act of torture, we reduce someone who was created in the image of God, into a piece of meat fit only for vultures and flies.

In this hour, as Jesus hangs on the cross, Jesus feels the weight of the sins of the world bearing upon his entire body and spirit.

He knows Judas’ remorse of betrayal and of Peter’s shame in denial. Jesus knows what it means to kill, to steal, to be powerless, to lie, to covet, to even sell himself for the pleasure of another, and to be human at our uttermost low.

It is here, that Jesus knows what hell might be like in dying and knowing the absence of God.

On the cross, Jesus is portrayed as a failure to an ideal vision lost in a sea of human depravity. His friends, his family, his followers have left him. His own Father has turned his back on the only begotten Son, for the Son of God has embraced death and sin.

But, even on the Cross, there is the Good News of the Gospel. Even in his death throws, Jesus still remembers His father and prefaces his heart wrenching cry with a Psalm, “MY GOD, MY GOD!”

We know that Christ’s death is not meaningless. Somehow, this death offers us life. God is not just giving up his son for our sake. God is giving Himself. God is willing not only to taste death and evil, but to embrace it in the person of Jesus so that we may know him as he knows us.

Because God Himself chose to embrace death … we can now be truly alive.

In dying for us, God went to a place that he has never known or been to before.

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