Fourth Word - Page 2


Let us think of what Jesus had given up.  Always he had been detached from material things, and for three years past he had lived a life of poverty, having no place to call his own, depending on the help of others for the very necessities of life.  And on Calvary he has given up all he has left – his clothes, his Mother and his friend.  And now he has even given up the comfort of the sense of his Father’s presence, and to do that meant to plunge his soul into “a horror of great darkness” (Genesis 15:12).

He had come to offer himself and all he held dear as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of human beings, and in so doing he held nothing back, not even his most precious and cherished possessions.  And of these the most precious was the sense of oneness with his Father.

The night before, he had said to his disciples, “…you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone.  Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me” (NRSV, John 16:32, our emphasis).  But now for the first time he felt as if his Father had abandoned him, and that in his hour of greatest need.