LHM Lenten Devotion – March 13, 2014 “The Cry of One Forsaken”


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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“The Cry of One Forsaken”

March 13, 2014

Lenten devo cover 2014Read Psalm 22TEXT: And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

For three excruciating hours Jesus hangs in darkness, cut off from any comfort, any hope. He is battered and ravaged as His Father unleashes wave after wave of His furious wrath at our sins, which Jesus has taken upon Himself. As the hour slowly approaches three in the afternoon Jesus raises His voice in a heart-rending cry, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

For the first time in His life, Jesus does not address God as His Father. He has been cut off and disowned because of our sin which He bears. In His place many of us would turn our backs on God, but not Jesus. He knows the God of Israel alone can save Him from this torment, this endless death. With the use of a single letter in the Aramaic, translated as our simple English word “my,” Jesus clings to His God with a faith that will not crack, will not fail-even while being crushed under the fiery justice of the Almighty. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

To those Jews standing around Jesus these words are familiar. They recognize the opening verse of Psalm 22. Though Jesus speaks only the first half of the first verse, the remainder of the psalm echoes through the silence that follows.

In the coming days we will study the entire psalm and see ever more clearly the depth of Christ’s loving sacrifice for us-and the faith and devotion that kept Him reaching out to His God.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, to save me and all people, You were forsaken by Your Father, and suffered the punishment for all of our sins. Deepen my gratitude for Your tremendous sacrifice, and my confidence in Your complete victory. Amen.

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