I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5b (ESV)
Mauna, the Ho-Chunk name for our Creator, formed Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth. They were blessed to have a close relationship with their maker and one another. Together, all people would descend from this blessed marriage and from them was given the desire to be loved and cared for by others.
Tragically, Adam and Eve rebelled against Mauna by eating the forbidden fruit. The result was their banishment from the presence of God and his garden. In the history of the world, this was the worst day ever!
The most horrible thing a person can experience is being separated from his Creator. The second is to be separated from his loved ones. Tribal people, much like a herd of bison, have a natural desire to live together in community. The harshest judgment a person can receive is being banished or forsaken, treated as if they are no longer a member of the tribe.
At times, you might have experienced the agony of being forsaken. You may have felt that no one loved you or cared about you. You might have felt neglected, taken advantage of, abused, or abandoned, maybe even by your own flesh and blood.
But in this life, you will never, ever be forsaken by Mauna. But, there was one who was, Jesus, the very Son of Mauna, would cry out “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
I cannot fully explain it, but I take God at His Word. Jesus, as true God and true man, suffered being forsaken for your sake and mine, so that no one would have to know the feeling of being forsaken by God.
However, on that Saturday after Jesus’ death, his disciples likely thought they had been abandoned by God. Their sadness and loss must have been overwhelming as they sat locked up in their rooms. But Jesus was about to offer them a way back to Mauna through faith in Him, and He offers it to you, too. It is an opportunity to once again draw near to God with a sincere heart as you enter his presence, even here on earth, as Adam and Eve experienced it.
Dear Heavenly Father, you turned your back on your only Son when He suffered and died on the cross. You forsook Him so that all who place their faith in Jesus as Savior would never be forsaken. By your Spirit, draw us near to you for Jesus’ sake, Amen.
Rev. Ricky Jacob