Jesus let out a loud cry. After speaking words of forsakenness from Psalm 22, Jesus cried out and took in his last breath. With the exhale came his cry, a cry of relief, an exclamation of deliverance. Finally, after hours of endless pain and gasping torment, it is over at last. The suffering is ended. The ordeal is finished and nothing remains but the absence of all sensation. Yet, having been abandoned by his disciples and left to face the ultimate humiliation and shame, Jesus cried out loudly. Why would he muster the last ounce of energy he had to cry out with a loud voice? Surely God could hear his thoughts. Unless God wasn’t the only one intended to hear.
We can’t forget that it is our sin that brought Jesus to the cross; it is the weight of humanity’s brokenness that hangs on his shoulders. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians; “For our sake God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It’s not enough to say Jesus took our sins to the cross, in order to save humanity from our own disobedience, Paul asserts that God made Jesus to be sin. Jesus was there in our place, for our sake, forsaken by his Father. There on the tree of the cross, Jesus faced the ultimate temptation. “Save yourself!” “Come down from the cross!” No, our Lord and Savior remained faithful and completed the work of salvation; the mission God sent him to earth to accomplish. There on the cross, Jesus, the Son of God, saved God’s people.
And in the end, certain of the resurrection, Jesus commended his spirit to the one who is author of all life. Even at the point of his own abandonment, when the Father seemed so very far away Jesus remained obedient to the Father’s will. A faith so strong no darkness, no pain, no sin not even death could overcome it.
Father, for the sake of your son Jesus Christ, forgive us. Amen.