His Forsakenness for Our Reconciliation (Matthew 27:46) - Radical

His Forsakenness for Our Reconciliation (Matthew 27:46)

“And, about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?’ That is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
-Matthew 27:46

Jesus has endured our forsakenness on our behalf so that we can be reconciled to God.

Matthew 27:46

What a humbling verse to read and reflect on. Jesus, on the cross, amidst all of the physical agony and pain that we know accompanied the cross. At least, as best as we can know; I don’t even think we can really fathom all of the physical pain involved in the cross. But, here in this verse we realize that there was a spiritual agony, that was far deeper than even that physical pain that Jesus here was, in a sense, enduring separation from the Father. “Why have you forsaken me?,” He asked.

There’s so much theologically that we could talk about here. Even practically, I’ll hear some preachers when they talk about this text, and talk about the crucifixion, just say, “Oh, the Father couldn’t bear to see what these soldiers were doing to His Son, so He turned away,” but that is not what’s going on here.

Matthew 27:46 Teaches Us God Endures Judgment

The reality is Jesus is at this moment on the cross, He is enduring the judgment, penalty for sin that I deserve, that you deserve. It’s not that the Father can’t bear to see what these soldiers were doing to his Son. The reality is the Father can’t bear to see sin; your sin, my sin.

We deserve to be forsaken by the Father, we deserve to be separated from the Father forever. We deserve to be cast out of His presence; that is what we deserve in our sin and our rebellion. And, what Jesus is doing in Matthew 27, is He’s enduring that forsakenness, that separation for us, on our behalf; that Jesus is choosing to suffer the separation we deserve, so that you and I, in our sin, despite our sin, can be reconciled to God through Jesus’ death on the cross.

This Verse Calls Us to Humble Praise

Oh, let’s pray in humble praise. Thank you, Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you, in a fresh way today, and we will thank you for all of our days for suffering the separation we deserve when you went to the cross. For enduring, yes, all of that physical pain, thank you for enduring all that physical pain up to the point of death. We praise you for physically dying for us, and at the same time, Lord, Jesus, we thank you for taking the sin and judgment we deserve upon yourself; for experiencing the separation we deserve in that moment.

So thank you, Jesus, for making it possible for us to be reconciled to God. We praise you for the cross, we thank you for the cross, we praise and thank you for the life that we have found there. The fact that right now we’re praying, because we’re in relationship with God, that we know God, that we’re gonna be with you forever, that we don’t have to worry about what happens when we die, because we’re not gonna be separated from you forever; we’re gonna be united with you forever. All glory be to your name for this reality.

This Verse Leads Us to Praise Jesus

So we praise you, Jesus, for Matthew 27:46, for doing that on the cross for us. We love you, Lord, and we praise you today in a fresh way for the cross. It’s in your name we pray, it’s only by your name, we pray these things. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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