My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, *
and are so far from my cry, and from the words of my complaint?
This Psalm was first written by King David during a time of anguish and distress. When his need is greatest God feels far from him. Yet David has not given up faith or hope. He still calls out to “my God”. Regardless of his own sense of abandonment during a painful moment he knows God is worthy of his cry and his trust.
As Christians, these words bring a silent awe. Coming from the lips of our savior they are the cry of a Son to a Father. It is hard to understand why any father would abandon their beloved except for the sake of another beloved. Our savior suffered this abandonment for our sake. The true nature of death's pain is not just the physical pain but the deep sense of absence. Death is the great divider of bodies and souls. After death we no longer see and feel the ones we love. For Jesus to become completely human means that he had to experience death to its fullest extent. He was cut off from the living. Our Father is the living God and he gave his son over to the separation of death. “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus still calls to the living God and places his trust in Him even when the future seems bleak. St Luke along with the other gospel writers interprets Jesus' cry as a yielding of His Spirit to His Father. Even in death Jesus is faithful to His father. Even in death Jesus proclaims his love and unity with humanity.
These are difficult times for many of us. We each have our unique worries and fears. Perhaps you feel like you are suffering alone. Like you have been abandoned or forgotten. Our Lord Jesus understands this feeling. The cross tells us that He has not abandoned us! He journeys with us even into despair, loneliness and death so that we might share in His love, His presence, and His life. Jesus cries out to His Father, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” so that we will never have to.