Well friends, we’re coming to the end of our study of Mark. Today’s chapter covers the entire process of getting Jesus crucified. It’s a story I’m sure we are all familiar with. Something I noticed though was that the other gospels recorded a few phrases of Jesus’ from the Cross, but Mark only records one statement. This statement is “Eloi, Eli, lama sabachtahni?” translated to “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (15:34 NASB). Jesus is quoting Psalm 22:
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night , but I have no rest.
Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
All who see me sneer at me;
They make mouths at me, they wag the head says,
‘Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delight in him.”
-Psalm 22:1-8, NASB
Not only was this relevant because of everything going on around Jesus, but I’m sure this psalm captures the way he was feeling. The theological statement here that I like is that this moment is when Jesus takes on the sin of the world. He shouts out this Psalm because this is the first moment in his 33 years of life that he has been separated from God because of sin.
But don’t we all get this feeling. Jesus was hanging on the Cross and felt as thought God had left him. I’m sure David felt this way when he lived in caves because he was being hunted by Saul. We feel it today when life hurts the most.
It is true what Moses says to the Israelites before the enter the promised land “… the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB). And also what God says in Hebrews, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NASB). There are lots of people who would say having the feelings Jesus, or the psalmist, expresses are a form of blaspheme. But I urge you to realize that if the feelings are expressed in the Bible, especially by Jesus Christ, then they are perfectly valid feelings to have.
I recently read a great book called Deeper Places. The author draws upon the feelings expressed in the Book of Psalms to teach about experiencing God. The biggest take away I had from the book was that if you have a feeling, talk through it with God. The problem arises when we feel that God has left us, we leave Him. But God will never leave us. Our sinful nature leads us to feel that God is gone, but sin naturally causes a barrier between us and Him. Work through it. Read your Bible. Spend time in prayer. Worship Him. Lead some worship if you can. Some of my biggest breakthroughs with God come when I’m leading others in worship, but I don’t feel like doing it.
I encourage you, no matter your feeling towards Him, seek God. Continue to seek him out and you will find him. God will come after you when you decide to seek him out. If you feel lost, read the psalms, especially Psalm 139. But God has not forsaken us, He is simply waiting for us to turn back to Him.