In Psalm 13, David cries out, asking how long God would forget him. This reminds me of Jesus’ words on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus experienced a depth of separation from God, abandonment by God, that Christians will never experience. Jesus died on the cross for sinners, in the place of sinners, and he experienced the wrath of God on our behalf. His broken body and his shed blood were accepted by God as payment for sins Jesus didn’t commit. When Jesus experienced this rupture in his relationship with his Father, it was the first and only moment of any kind of broken communion he had ever experienced or would ever experience in all of eternity.
Back in Psalm 13, David moves from deep sorrow to lasting joy in the span of six verses. Likewise, we’re told in Hebrews 12:2 that it was “for the joy that was set before him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus moved through the sorrow of the cross so that he could experience the joy of the resurrection!
Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the way for us to have unbroken fellowship with God forever and ever. Jesus’ experience of separation from God in that moment purchased his promise in the Great Commission, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus’ experience of abandonment by God secured the certainty that he will never abandon his followers, not for one moment.
Thus, though we may feel like David at times, wondering where God has gone, why he’s not there, why he doesn’t care, we must remember the truth: God is always, at every moment of every day, with his people, forever. We are never alone. Because Jesus was forsaken for us, those who trust him will never be forsaken by God. No matter how distant you feel from God, if you’re one of his adopted children, if you’re in Christ, the truth of the matter is that Christ lives in you by the Holy Spirit, and he will never, ever leave you.
Mr. Justin Langley is Minister of Discipleship of Kilgore Bible Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.kilgorebiblechurch.org.