Where Is God? :pstrmike
It is the third Sunday of dispersion. I taught last night on the three hours of darkness while Jesus was on the cross. During that time of darkness, Jesus says nothing. It’s a time of silence, a time of isolation, which brings with it a sense of longing and waiting for the season to be over. Much has been said about those three hours, although the crucifixion narratives do not give us an explanation. My thought is that several things were happening during that time.
Where is God during this time? Paul tells us that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2Cor 5:19). God was in the darkness, in the silence, and present in the isolation.
Some time around the third hour of darkness Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” (Mat 27:46)? We’re are not given the insight into what was going on in Jesus’ heart which provoked His question. Most us do know of times in our own life when we have asked the same question. It is so difficult to be in a situation where you cannot change things and then feel that you have been abandoned by God. I can’t speak for Jesus here, but for many of us, such feelings often follow those times when we are earnestly searching for answers, and they do not come. How many times have I heard, “this situation would be bearable if I at least knew why it was happened!” Yet God is silent.
The veil in the temple is split in two, and Luke tells us that Jesus then prays, “into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). It’s a prayer of surrender. A friend told me that during difficult times, we waste a lot of energy wanting to know why, when these times are often allowed as an invitation to connect deeper with God. The torn veil allows us access to God in a deeper way, but we must first pray, “into Your hands I commit my spirit.” Connecting deeper to God usually means I have to set aside my quest to understand and surrender to living in the tension and uncertainty. God is in the darkness, in the silence, and present in the isolation, and it is in that place that He invites us to “come boldly before the throne of grace” (Heb 4:16).