When someone we love dies, we tend to go through a storm of emotions. One emotion that can surface is the feeling of abandonment. We feel as though the one who died has recklessly left us or deserted us or walked out on us or quit on us or forsaken us.
On the day of Good Friday, Jesus Christ of Nazareth felt abandoned, forsaken. In the Gospel according to Matthew, in chapter 27 and verse 46, it says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’”
I cannot even begin to imagine or even comprehend the suffering, the pain, the cruelty, or the devastation that Jesus Christ experienced on the Cross as He was being executed to death.
But one thing I do know is that even though Jesus Christ was the Son of God, He also was a man (a human being) with feelings and emotions. In the above Bible verse, the first feeling or emotion that Jesus Christ expressed was that He cried. Yes, tears! And as He cried in anguish and in pain, He was very verbal about. He wanted and needed God to hear Him. He didn’t hold it in. He shouted it out!
As Jesus Christ was dying on the Cross, Jesus Christ not only wanted God to feel His tears, His cries (the first emotion), but Jesus Christ wanted God to feel the second emotion that He was experiencing on the Cross, which was the feeling of abandonment, feeling forsaken by His own Father, God.
During our time on this earth, we will experience crying episodes and feelings of abandonment and feeling forsaken when a loved one dies. There might be times when we might feel as if we are going crazy. These feelings (along with so many other feelings) are part of the human experience and part of the grieving process when we experience the pain from the death of a loved one or even loss in our lives.
When death and loss penetrate our lives and when grief becomes too heavy to bear, I truly believe that God cares. I believe that God is with us; I believe that God feels our pain; I believe that God is holding us with loving arms as He dries our tears; and I believe that God will never ever leave us or forsake us, no matter what happens in our life on this earth.
As Jesus Christ of Nazareth was dying on the Cross, I believe that God the Father was with Him every step of the way, and I believe that God was heartbroken over the devastation of the Cross.
Some people feel that the expression of feelings or emotions is a sign of weakness when their hearts break from the weight of loss in their lives. If Jesus Christ of Nazareth was not afraid to express and verbalize His feelings and emotions, as He was dying on the Cross, then why should we (as humans) be afraid to express our feelings and emotions during times of crises?
When we give ourselves permission to express our grief from the loss of a love, in essence, we are allowing our spirits and our bodies to heal. By the way, grief-work takes time. We have to work through it and pray through it.
As we travel through life, we will have moments when we will ask, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I truly believe that during these fragile moments of feeling abandoned or feeling forsaken, God is closer to us than we could ever imagine, and I believe that He is very concerned about the different feelings and emotions that run wild through our hearts, especially our tears.