“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 (NIV)
There was a time in my life when honey didn’t drip from my lips. A time when I spoke from only bitterness and anger. Frustrated, I would curse. Broken, I would talk badly about anyone in my path. Hopeless, I would hurl whatever words came out of my mouth.
When I think back on this time, remembering those days in middle school and high school, I now realize my words reflected the inner turmoil of my world. I was in pain — and I felt all was lost. I pulled phrases of expression from the well of my anguish.
Yes, sometimes grief begs for silence. But other times, it’s as if grief begs to be honest and be heard. The way my pain made itself heard was sometimes uncontrolled … but it makes me think of Jesus’ sinless grief when metal was nailed into the thin skin of His wrists, those small bones bearing the weight of His whole body. It makes me think of that moment when He bled from His back, bearing our wounds.
Jesus, tormented, hung on the cross, forsaking all opportunities to bring Himself down, all reasons to save Himself, to prove He was (and is) in fact the King of the Jews.
He hung in humanness, perhaps with memories of His earthly life flashing before His eyes. He hung in holiness, eternal love holding Him to that cross. He hung, taking upon His shoulders the sin of the world, all while He endured the greatest grief. And as He did, He uttered the only words that would display the depth of the pain He felt:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
But those aren’t just any words Jesus mustered up. What’s really going on is that Jesus was reciting Psalm 22, the ancient Word instilled deep within His soul. In the moment of His deepest grief, Jesus turned to and spoke from the Truth He knew. He spoke from the well that is the Word.
It makes me wonder about all our moments filled with grief and rage and pain. Though we are broken over all that feels lost, might our words drip with the rich, foundational principles of our faith? Though we navigate trauma and tension, might our words tell the story that we are still tethered to God?
Perhaps even when all is lost, we, as Jesus did, can whisper the Word.
God, You hold us even when all is lost. Your Word is hope to us even in the moments when we hurt the most. Your Word soothes and speaks Truth to our souls. In our grief, may we always grasp for You — in word, in deed, in heart, in hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Today’s devotion is adapted from Rachel’s new book, The Matter of Little Losses: Finding Grace to Grieve the Big (and Small) Things. This poetic book is a balm for brokenness and a guide for readers to find the grace to grieve the things that matter. Click here for more details.
Find hope and help for life’s losses and hard seasons when you connect with Rachel Marie Kang on Instagram. Her website is rachelmariekang.com.
Today, in celebration of The Matter of Little Losses, Rachel is giving away beautiful bouquets of flowers and bundles of her books. Head to her Instagram to enter to win!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” (NIV).
Jesus groaned the truth of His grief when He quoted Psalm 22:1 on the cross. If you could groan the truth of your grief (little or large) today, what would you say?
We're always here to hear your heart — come and share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2024 by Rachel Marie Kang. All rights reserved.
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