"Why have you forsaken me?"

Artist: Edvard Munch Source: WikiPaintings Is all this really necessary? This cross? This consequence borne by Christ?

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Things are not that bad. Are they?

We can only grasp a fraction Of the immense weight Crashing down upon Jesus That day.

The unimaginable burden Of not only our individual misdeeds Or our personal omissions, But the iniquities And atrocities Of generation upon generation upon generation. The entirety of wickedness Since evil invaded the world.

The sin of human history Creating a distance beyond our understanding.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Christ is forsaken. Dropped in the chasm Of overflowing corpses. The bodies of those who have been massacred. The hundreds murdered every day. Every day. For years stacked upon decades stacked upon centuries.

Christ is forsaken. Adrift in the gulf Of echoing wails. The cries of those sexually assaulted. Every two minutes. Over And over And over again. Shrieking in their violation and pain.

Christ is forsaken. Standing in the abyss Between oppressor and oppressed. Taking the beatings of the millions, Millions, Who have been And are And will be Imprisoned, exploited, and enslaved.

Christ is forsaken. Experiencing the void Of lost generations. Entire people groups wiped out When neighbor turns against neighbor When former friends slaughter one another As nations collapse into genocide.

It’s too much. It’s all too much.

Too much for us to hold. Too vast for us to grasp.

This is the great burden borne by Christ. Taking iniquities beyond imagination Upon the only shoulders broad enough to carry them And loving enough to be crushed by their weight.

From the chasm of evil, For the sake of humanity, Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is another reflection I wrote for my church's Good Friday service. In honor of this day of waiting, as we sit in the waiting space before the resurrection, it feels appropriate to continue pondering Christ's death. I hope it helps you do that today.

"I am thirsty."

“I am thirsty,” is a most ordinary phrase.For to thirst Is to be human.


Jesus is human. The only human to ever be so by choice. Human at a time the rest of us would have chosen Any other path than the one He walked.

For to be fully human Is to fully experience The agony of it all.

Jesus declares, “I am thirsty."

Did His thirst begin in the garden the night before? When His heart broke into tears And His mouth filled with the bitter taste of betrayal. When the kiss of a friend Was used to stab Him in the back.

How parched did His mouth become as the night dragged on with accusations? When His tongue waited And restrained itself from words of defense. When the only water offered to Him Was the spit spattered across His face.

How dry was His throat When His lips were up against that post and the liquid ran red from His back? When the metal ends of a whip Ripped through His flesh Again And again And again And again.

Was there any water left for His tears When thorns pierced His brow? When blow After blow After blow Drove the sign of the curse Deeper and deeper Into the only head capable of bearing its burden.

How did He long for relief When the heavy weight of that wooden beam Was placed upon His cracked-open shoulders? When nails went through His wrists And pain shot like lightning up His arms. When His knees were forced outward So His feet could be hammered like a piece of lumber.

How did Jesus feel His frailty, When He was hung Naked Upon that appalling tree? When He chose to be human In the midst of public humiliation And unimaginable suffering.

How did He gasp and sputter As His body reached for the life that was being drained from it? When His arms pulled out from their joints And pushed His lungs to the point of collapse. When the One who breathed the earth into being Struggled now to simply exhale.

Labored breathing. Excruciating pain. Agonizing thirst.

As God, Jesus could have blocked the torture, Pushed away the suffering, Stopped the death. As human, Jesus chose to face the torment, Endure the anguish, Experience the death.

“I am thirsty.” This was Jesus’ declaration of humanity And His demonstration of love.

I wrote this reflection for the Good Friday service at my church. In honor of the day, I also wanted to share it with you here. 


A Holy Week Juxtaposition

I read this psalm about the powerAnd greatness of our God The same week I am thinking about the humiliation And suffering of our King.

The juxtaposition is palpable.

“Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.” – Psalm 97:3

Sometimes. Except for the day His Son was surrounded And there was no fire to be seen. Only the silent restraint Of a God that replaces sending fire With receiving lashes For the sake of His beloveds.

“His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.” – Psalm 97:4

Sometimes. Except for the day darkness covered the earth And there was no lightning to be seen. Only the sacrifice Of a God who replaces trembling subjects With a buckling body His own Son crushed By the weight of His beloveds’ sins.

“The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.” –Psalm 97:5

Sometimes. Except for the day the empire seemed to win And there was no melting to be seen. Only the weakness Of a Messiah who seemed to perish Before the wrath of a nation. His beloveds left wondering If they got it all wrong.

For they didn’t know the subversive truth That strength given up For the sake of another Is the most powerful force of all.

Psalm 97

That was my reflection on Psalm 97. Link up with your own reflection below. Or stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 98.