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Reflections on Our Saviour’s Seven Words from the Cross – Word Five: Forsaken

March 24, 2016

Jesus on the cross

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Mark 15:34)

As darkness covers the land, the Light of the world experiences darkness within. It is a mystery as deep as Jesus’ darkness itself. Jesus’ ebbing of life is not only physical, but spiritual. Shortly before, in Gethsemane, which literally means “olive press,” Jesus accepted the cup of suffering humanity, knowing that the crushing weight of our darkness would squeeze every ounce of life out of him, just as the millstone crushes the oil out of the olives. Now Jesus drinks this cup to its very dregs. There is no part of our darkness, no part of our burden, that he does not take up and take on – including our spiritual darkness. I who know nothing but the faintest glimmer of God’s fellowship can’t begin to imagine the pain being experienced here by the One who has always been in the bosom of the Father, as he loses his awareness of his Father’s Presence (note “My God,” not “My Father”). All I do know, is that even this price my Lord did not consider too great to pay for me.

Reflection: What Love was willing to do for me I shall never be able to fathom this side of eternity. O Lord, may my every breath, my every thought, my every action for now and for all eternity be thanks, be praise to you.

Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle, and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is racked with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.

Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing,
And weave their petty cells and die.

Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. 
(C. S. Lewis – written while his wife was ill with terminal cancer)

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