The greatest agony that Jesus experienced on the cross wasn’t physical but spiritual. It wasn’t the torture, the crown of thorns, the nails or the cross. His loudest cry came at the moment when God the Son felt the weight of forsakenness, abandonment, and judgment for the first time in eternity. But His shout wasn’t a cry for help; it was a confident call from an anchored hope. - Pastor Dave
Open: Have you ever faced a situation that seemed hopeless? Describe the circumstances and the feelings you experienced in the moment:
Read: Matthew 26:36-56; 27:32-50; Genesis 3:8-10; Isaiah 53; Psalm 22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13-14 1.
1. While on the cross Jesus said, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” What makes this question so mysterious and difficult to reconcile with our thinking of God? Have you ever been forsaken? How does this prove that the spiritual realities of the cross were the most intense part of Christ’s suffering?
2. Matthew 27:42-43 describes the mocking that Jesus experienced on the cross. How does the challenge in verse 43 (“He trusts in God, let God deliver him now…”) correlate with Jesus’ cry in verse 46? How does the three hours of darkness describe the force of this moment?
3. In what ways did Jesus join humanity in forsaking God the Father? Why does it feel that God forsakes us? Does He forsake us or not? How does shame play a part of the experience of abandonment?
4. How was Jesus our substitute on the cross? What did Christ take for us? What did we get in return?
5. The statement “My God, why have you forsaken me?” is a quote from Psalm 22. In what ways is this Psalm a cry of hope more than a cry of help? Describe the ABC’s given in Psalm 22: Where do you need to see hope rise in your life?
Pray: that in your moments of deep questions and the feeling of hopelessness, forsakenness, and abandonment that you will find your hope set confidently in Christ and His promises.
Memorize/Meditate: I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 O