And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 NRSV)
The adulation of the crowd on that first Palm Sunday was only a distant memory to Jesus as he climbed the hill known as Golgotha, the place of the skull. Where were his disciples? Scattered like the silly, timid sheep. That's all right, he thought. There will be a time when they will be more like lions than lambs. They cannot know that this is but one act of many in the story of redemption. All they see now is defeat. Soon they will be bathed in victory.
Jesus thought of those moments in the garden of Gethsemane when he had prayed that this cup would be taken from him. But he knew that he must drink it. He knew that he must experience the isolation of pain and sorrow and death if he were going to be our Savior. And so he set his face toward the place where he would be crucified like a common thief.
The nails that they drove into his hands and feet and the spear that they thrust into his side could not compare with the grief of knowing how little impact his suffering and death would have on the mass of humanity. Most men and women would pass him by--unseeing--uncaring--having not a clue in the world that he was dying for them. Yet he drank from the bitter cup--and he did it for you and me.
God of all people, I cannot imagine the pain you went through watching your son die for my sins, but today I am thankful for you unending love. In Jesus' name, Amen.