Yesterday, at my Bible study, a new thought came to me. A new way to look at the cross I have never seen before. I was so amazed by it, I had to share it.
Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world is the most pivotal point in human history. It’s the the moment where God the Father washed us clean with His Son’s blood and forgave us, allowing us direct access to His presence, something humanity didn’t have since before the Fall. Jesus’ sacrifice caused the veil in the temple that stood between us and the Holy of Holies to be torn in two, symbolizing this change. God and man were no longer separated, mankind was now allowed to approach God because our sin was covered by Christ’s blood.
Most Christians know this. It is one of the most important parts of our faith. But there’s more to the story…more to Christ’s sacrifice than giving up His life for us.
Christ, being the Son of God, had a connection to God the Father, that no man in human history had ever had, other than Adam and Eve, who walked with God in the garden (Genesis 3:8). Jesus walked with God in a way that we do today, He had the Spirit of God with Him, inside of Him. Jesus had a direct line to God. He could approach His Father anytime, day or night. He walked with God. As I said before, no other person since the fall of man had this kind of relationship with God because of sin. Jesus was sinless, and He was God’s Son, He had Daddy’s phone number, so to speak.
From the moment Jesus was born, until the cross, God was by Jesus’ side. Let me get my point to you again with a little more emphasis.
Until the cross!
Mark 15:33-34 says:
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (NKJV)
Once Jesus had been beaten for our transgressions, bruised for our inequities (Isaiah 53:5), and hung on a cross for our sin, Jesus experienced something that He had never experienced before—complete separation from God.
God the Father turned His back on Jesus because all the sin of the world was upon Him. God could not look as such sin. But this was more than just turning His back. God forsook Jesus. He left Him, He abandoned Him, He deserted Him. God and Jesus were separated in a way that Jesus—both as a man, and as a part of the Triune God prior to Him taking on humanity—never experienced before.
Jesus died forsaken by God!
Jesus died alone!
Jesus did this for us!
Jesus feared the cross (Luke 22:42). He, as a human being, didn’t want to die. And He, as the divine Son of God, didn’t want to be separated from His Father. But He did it. He did it so that we would never have to.
The Bible tells us that Jesus has experienced every temptation we will ever go through (Hebrews 4:15). He experienced every emotion we feel. He was human after all. But up until that moment, when He was on the cross, He never knew what it was like to be completely severed from God. And neither have we.
Even though in the Old Testament times God was separated from man because of sin, He was still there, we were never completely out of His presence. Deuteronomy 31:6 says:
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (NKJV)
God promised us that He would never leave us, and never forsake us.
But, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Without Christ’s sacrifice, if He did not take on our sin, we would experience eternal separation from God. Not here in human life, but afterwards, as the spirit lives on. Jesus took more than just our sin on the cross, He took the punishment for it. While He hung there, He was separated, abandoned, deserted, forsaken by God. Jesus was a forsaken God for our sake.
However, Jesus rose again and now sits at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33)!
Who else would go through all of that for me; who would give me a second chance like that?
My Lord. My Creator. My God!