Good Friday: Matthew 27:45-47 (NRSV)
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.”
A powerful Gospel message for this Good Friday: Jesus at the end of his life, at the moment of his greatest torment, calling out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
How often have we, as single parents, as human beings, felt like crying out these words as well?
We could have felt this way when we first found out that were going to be single parents, when we ran into some problem that seemed too big to be faced: a conflict with the ‘other’ parent, an illness, trouble at school, or more serious issues of Addiction and the related interaction with the legal system. Maybe it was when we were overwhelmed with all the demands of parenting, and felt as if we did not have enough time do everything that needed to be done!
It is normal for any parent to have those moments when we feel as if we cannot cope and we put our hands up to the heavens and ask God “Where are you?” This can be especially true for single parents, as raising children ‘alone’ is far from easy, and we can often feel forsaken, especially when it really does feel as if we are doing this all on our own!
The good news for this Good Friday is that we are never alone, and that God never forsakes us; just as God did not forsake Jesus on the cross! Jesus was aware of God’s presence in his life, even in his suffering! When he said “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” it was not a rebuke for God’s absence, but a very human cry for comfort!
The words Jesus used were from Psalm 22, which begins with this call to God, but ends with a confirmation of God’s power to heal and to comfort:
30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.
For this Psalm is actually a proclamation of God’s great love for us all, an assurance that God is always with us, and weeps with us through all of our challenges, when we face our own “Good Friday”! It is a Psalm of hope, spoken out by Jesus when all seemed hopeless…a promise of hope that is for all of us!
A promise that no matter how dark and alone we may feel, that the bright morning light of Easter is upon us!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, we are grateful today for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and for the hope found in the Resurrection! Please let us remember that we will never be forsaken, that you are always with us and our children, no matter what challenges we face in life! Help us never to give in to the blackness of our fears, let us instead remember that we live in the light of Easter, not the darkness of Good Friday! Thank you that your Grace and love are an active force in our lives through those who share our journey with us through this world!