It was a big deal for Jesus to descend from holy glory to walk among sinners, lepers, the unwashed and the hateful. It was a huge thing that He died for us (but was raised up again on the third day). But there is something else that He did that actually gets me crying if I think about it for too long.
Jesus was with the Father from the beginning. He was with God when the plan of redemption was set and the names chosen which would be in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Eph 1:4). From eternity past, Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit experienced sweet intra-Trinitarian communion with each other. (Genesis 1:1-2, John 1:2). They gave, submitted, loved, in and among each other in circular and in eternal glory with each other, delighting in themselves in their self-sufficiency.
In Jesus’s sacrificial and willing departure from purity to dwell with fallen man, He endured pain, stripes for our healing and allowed His blood to be shed to save souls. He willingly gave up His life and the Father would pick it up again.
What He endured next was nothing compared to that. Nothing.
For the first time ever, He was separate from the father. (Psalm 22:1) As He hung on the cross and His body was filled with sin (2 Peter 2:24) the Father looked away. Yes, Jesus left glory. Yes, Jesus died. Yes He endured horrific bodily pain. But He endured a spiritual weight and horror that none of us can even imagine.
If you remember your feelings of hopelessness prior to salvation, the spiritual darkness and weight of sin’s bondage, you may glimpse a nanosecond of that moment on the cross (Matthew 27:45-46). If you are a mature Christian now and cringe at the thought of being removed from the Holy Spirit’s presence for even one second, can you even imagine Jesus’s despair when He was separated from the Father? No.
But in His enduring this horrific, wrenching forsaking, He showed His love for us. I listen to a song in which one of the lyrics is “It was my sin that held Him there.” No, it wasn’t. He died for my sins, yes. But it was His will that held Him there. He willingly lay down His life:
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:18).
He loved us while we were yet sinners. But He loved the Father more. He obeyed, submitted, and so was filled with sin and forsaken on the cross. That moment went down in eternity as the loneliest man in the loneliest moment in the universe, forever.
He is a great and mighty and loving Savior!!
Please pray today. Commune with Him as it is your privilege to do. He endured that separation from the Father so that He could be in fellowship with you. So please be in fellowship with Him.