Be Not Far From Me
One of the most quoted scriptures is “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
For the past 43 years I have taken it as “Where the hell are you God?”
Like a two year old that doesn’t understand the concept of another room. If I can’t see you, you must not exist, because I’m two and I know ALL THE THINGS.
My brain grew three sizes today.
“My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?” is how Psalm 22 begins. Jesus was quoting scripture. Again, I knew this, but in a “is this going to be on the test?” knew, and not a “profoundness of knowledge” knew.
Back in the day before we gave up our brains to public education and Google, we memorized things. Much like you can’t be a child of the 80s and not know about “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” You can’t be a child of the early AD and not know scripture. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is the beginning of a way cool jingle.
God, where are you? I’m in trouble. Where are you? I’m hurting here and it pretty much sucks. The whole world has turned on me. Literally everybody on the planet has left me, and I feel so alone. You were there for all the great people in history, I know you’ll be there for me too, but this pretty much blows for me at the moment. People are mocking me. People are mocking you, and I get that we have to see this through to the end, but I don’t really dig the going through it part. You have a plan for my life. You’ve had this plan all along. YOU called me into being. YOU brought me to life. YOU called me to greater things than I could do on my own. I am kind of feeling like it’s YOUR job to get over here and be with me right now.
BE NOT FAR FROM ME while I go through this. I am broken mentally. I am broken physically. Everything in me is finished. BE WITH ME , while I do my part. In the end this will be a cause for great celebration, because once again, YOU have pulled off a giant freakin miracle. When this is all done, we’re going to have a huge freakin party and ALLLL the people will be there. Rich and poor. Every tribe, every tongue, every nation. Not only that, but every one alive, or has been alive, or will ever be alive. This is a story that will last a thousand, thousand years. My suffering will bring you glory. All that I ask is that you come and keep me company while I go through this.
Now, I picture this as a song, that everybody knew. Jesus said the first verse, because he was in agony, but maybe also to let those around him know this was serving a greater purpose. To show in vivid detail that this was the moment the whole world had been waiting for. For a thousand years, people sang this in church every week. For a thousand years this was merely a thought. The moment he asks everyone to join him in the singing of “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” was the moment his disciples “got it” the song speaks of his torture, of his piercing, of the whole world turning on one man while they mock him and cast lots for his clothes. THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, CAN’T YOU SEE?
It is finished.
The whole world shook as God wept. Not only for his son who bore the weight of the sin of mankind, but for the mankind who were now his sons and daughters. Sin had lost. Paid for with the great cost of his son.
Jesus wasn’t wondering where God was. He was reminding his people that while this looks pretty bleak right now, things are about to blow up. And yes, I am suffering but I don’t wonder where God is. I am begging him to come and be with me, to sit with me in my suffering. I signed up for this. But please. Be not far from me.