About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). MATTHEW 27:46

I jumped offside once in junior high football. It was a “double go,” and I jumped on the first “go.” I gave the other team a first down. Another player came running in and said, “Thomford, you’re out!” I ran to the sidelines and stood by the coach. He did not yell at me. He did not speak to me. He didn’t even look at me. I knew he was angry at my foolish mistake. But he just ignored me. That was tough. But I deserved it.

Isn’t this what we deserve from our heavenly Father? To have him refuse to look at us-forever. We have sinned against our Father by often grumbling about the troubles he allows in our lives. What should we hear God say to us? “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41 NIV). Not only will hell be a place of physical torment. Far worse will be the mental and spiritual anguish that our Father has rejected us forever—that the Father will refuse to look at us forever!

Yet on the cross, Jesus cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God,

why have you forsaken me?”). On the cross Jesus felt a pain far worse than his physical sufferings. He felt his own heavenly Father reject him. He felt his own Father refuse to look at him. On the cross Jesus suffered the torments of hell itself.


Isaiah says, “The LORD has charged all our guilt to him” (Isaiah 53:6 EHV).

In his heart Jesus felt the spiritual and mental anguish of hell itself—in our place and for our sin—so that we never will! What Jesus truly suffered that day none of us can ever truly fathom. From his heart he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But because of Jesus’ forsaken heart, your Heavenly Father will never refuse to look at you! Your Father has forgiven your sin, and now he will love you and smile at you forever in this life and in the life to come!


Dear Jesus, when I feel that your Father has forsaken me, when I despair of his love, help me remember that he will never forsake me because you took my place upon the cross and suffered hell for me!