Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 15:33-36

Through parched lips Jesus cries out to God, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” No answer. It must have been a hellish experience. Hell is the final, total, changeless absence of God.

Some people, the Bible says, will experience the absence of God after death. But some people already experience it here and now. Scripture is shot through with the seeming absence of God. “Oh, that I knew where I might find him!” Job wailed (23:3). “Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself,” said Isaiah (45:15). And from the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

People experience the absence of God here and now. A college student traumatized by guilt. A young wife wounded by treachery. An elderly man consumed with grief. People in hellish torment who feel beyond God’s grace.

But wait. “We have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus has been to hell. He can sympathize. He can help, entering our private hell with us, descending with us into our personal abyss, leading us to wholeness and health. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve experienced it myself. Wherever your private hell is, it’s not out of bounds for Jesus.


For me you suffered on the cross. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.