One Easter as I read through the story of the crucifixion, I spent several hours deliberating over the words of Christ when he cried in anguish from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
The idea that the Father would allow his Son to suffer the torture of crucifixion is beyond me--the humiliation of nakedness, the searing pain, the smell of blood and sweat, the agony of tears, the spit of drunken soldiers, the scorn of a laughing, jeering mob.
When the crowd thinned and the cowards took shelter from the lashing storm, Jesus was left alone. As tears mingled with blood on his battered face, he cried out to his Father--the one who had not once turned away from him in all of eternity. The reply was cold, unmoving silence.
In those horrible moments God himself poured the judgment for our sins upon Jesus. Every sin imaginable: lusting and lying, cheating and coveting, murder and hypocrisy, cruelty and deceit. Of course, Christ had never been guilty of any of those sins. But we are. And every one of your sins and mine was racked up on his account right there on that cross. As the prophet testified: