“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”Matthew 27:46
One of the hardest things about being in the wilderness is that we often feel so alone there. It isolates us, even when we may be in a room full of people. The simple greeting of “How are you?” becomes hard to answer. God can feel far away as we wait for Him to answer our many prayers.
But God is not distant. When Jesus took on our flesh and endured the wilderness for us, He brought God near in the wilderness. God the Father hears our prayers because God the Son is at His right hand interceding for us, with all the sympathy and faithfulness of a human priest. As well, God the Spirit lives in us, hearing our sighs, groaning as we groan, and pouring God’s love into our hearts. The Triune God is with us in the wilderness.
There is one part of Jesus’ wilderness that we didn’t share. When Jesus became sin for us at the cross, God withdrew His fatherly presence and poured out His judgment on our willing substitute. Jesus was forsaken that day so that you and I will not be forsaken today and will be with Him eternally one day.
God abandoned His Son in that wilderness so that He could be “God with us” in our wilderness.