A simple truth can have a profound impact on one’s life. For instance, imagine you found out you were going to die in a few weeks. That would be a simple truth that would have a profound impact on your life. In the same way, the gospel is a simple truth that should have a profound impact on our lives. I am a firm believer that as Christians, we don’t truly understand the gospel. There is a simple truth found in Matthew 27:46 that will help us better understand the gospel. This truth should ultimately impact our lives in a profound way.
Matthew 27:46 says “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” If we understand these nine words and their profound implications, it will change not only our perspective on life, but how we live our lives as well.
Life presents us with many difficult and painful problems. One of the most difficult things life throws our way is lost love. When love is removed from our lives, it can derail us. Imagine if a close friend tells you they don’t want to be your friend anymore. That would be painful. Imagine if a sibling never talked to you again. That would hurt even more. Imagine if one of your parents died. That would be excruciating. Imagine if your spouse cheated on you, divorced you and married someone else. That would seem unbearable. The reality is that love is powerful and when any amount of love is removed from our lives, it hurts to say the least. When we look at the nine words: “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me”, we see the most painful moment in human history. It’s a moment in which the Father’s love was removed from Christ.
Think back to a moment when love was removed from your life. Maybe it was love from a friend, a dating relationship, spouse, parent, child, sibling, etc. Whoever it was, try to remember how excruciating it was to have that love removed. Painful right? Multiply that pain by a million and we get a glimpse of the pain that Christ went through on the cross.
When we think of what Christ went through for us, we tend to think about the physical pain he endured. The most painful thing Christ went through was not the physical pain; it was the spiritual and emotional pain. When Christ said the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, he was crying out in pain because the Father’s loved was removed from him.
God had perfect love before the world began with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God didn’t need to create us because he has been in community for all eternity. Despite the perfect and eternal community within the Triune God, there was a moment in time where that union was broken. The love Christ had with the Father for all eternity had been removed from him as he hung on the cross.
To put this in perspective, think about a time you had love removed from your life. The longer you know a person and the more intimate the relationship, the more painful it is to lose their love. We are imperfect people with imperfect love. If lost love hurts within the context of imperfect relationships, imagine the pain Christ would have felt in his perfect relationship with the Father. This perfect and eternal love was taken away from Christ on the cross. Imagine the pain Christ would have felt as the Father’s love was removed from him! We can’t imagine the intense sorrow Christ would have felt in that moment.
So why did Christ go through that amount of pain? Sure he did it to glorify the Father, but he was already doing that in Heaven. Christ went through this pain for us. He went through a pain none of us could imagine so he could have us back. And what was Christ’s motivation for going through the most painful experience in human history? It was his love for us! Imagine if we truly understood this. Not only would we gain a deeper appreciation for Christ’s love for us, but we would live a life that reflects a deeper understanding of that love.
Just as we were Christ’s motivation for enduring pain, let Christ be our motivation for enduring pain.