Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lama Sabachthani

It is a hard thing to be forsaken by a bad father, hard enough that it breaks some lives. Outside observers might say "good riddance," but for the abandoned one there is still pain.

How much more to be abandoned by a good father. I thought not only of the Son's separation from the Father, but the Father's from the Son.  This is the father that ran to meet the prodigal son.  This is the father who kept reaching out to Israel to bring her back.  This is the father Jesus turned to when his earthly family rejected him and wanted to put him away.  This is the father he went to when he was tired, hungry to the point of starving, frustrated with a nation and even close disciples who did not get it.

I think of myself promising my children that if you are ever pulled away from me somehow I will not rest until I find you. You can count on that in any darkness, that I am thinking about you every moment and will not stop looking for you.  I don't even like thinking of the possible plotlines where a parent has to act on that (though some have had the horror of living through such things).  I

He had never been turned away before. Perhaps there was some not fully conscious thought in Gethsemane that "this will be hard, impossibly hard, not only physically but spiritually, but I can make it because you are with me." And then suddenly at the very end the realisation I will go into the darkness alone. The one who has always been there will not be there.


Earl Wajenberg said...

The words are the opening of Psalm 22.

After asking that terrible question, the psalmist begs for God to rescue him and praises God for all the times He rescued Israel, ending with a prediction that all the world will ultimately worship Him.

Preachers readily quote Scripture. A preacher dying by torture quotes an agonizing verse. Who can say whether he meant just that verse or the whole psalm? Sobering either way.

Earl Wajenberg said...

Hm. Now go read the Magnificat. What caught my eye was the line in Psalm 22, "The poor will eat and be satisfied." It reminded me of the lines from the Magnificat:

"He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty."

If you read the whole Magnificat and the whole of Psalm 22, there is a lot of overlap in the messages that were given at Alpha and Omega.