Mahaney on Christ’s Forsakenness

I’ve mentioned before that I’m working through CJ Mahaney’s Living the Cross Centered Life with a couple men from our church. This morning we worked through chapters 7-8, the latter of which is entitled “The Scream of the Damned” and focuses on Christ’s forsakenness. What an amazing thought—that Jesus, who ever pleased the Father, was abandoned and punished by Him in order that I might not be. This is the heart of the gospel, and it has captured my attention for several years, permeating my thinking, my preaching, and my writing (as in this important post and in the hymns “His Robes for Mine” and “My Jesus Fair”). What an overwhelming truth to ponder!

Here’s a portion of Mahaney’s take on this most astounding of all events in eternity:

“Jesus doesn’t just feel forsaken; He is forsaken. In an unfathomable mystery, at that moment, as God’s wrath is poured upon Him as the substitute for our sin, Jesus is rejected by God. His Father turns away from Him. It isn’t a deceptive feeling; it’s reality.

In Gethsemane, when Jesus looked into the cup, this is what He had seen. This is what had staggered Him.” (Living the Cross Centered Life, 94)

This should stagger us, as well. Meditate on what Christ endured for you, friend—the sins of humanity and the wrath of God. Be moved by Christ’s work to greater love for your Savior and greater hatred of your sin!

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