“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Just a short while ago, we had to put our sweet kitty, Truffle, to sleep because of illness. She was honestly the sweetest animal I have ever known. If my husband and I were in the same room, she would first go to one of us, give some loving, and then go over to the other so we both got the same attention. Her love was unconditional and generous. She was never ill-tempered and would always greet us after we returned home from being gone. She seemed to give a perfect love.
But gradually she became quite ill. She always trusted us to protect her from all harm, but when the veterinarian came to our house to euthanize her, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of betrayal. I felt I was betraying her confidence in me to protect her. And I had to watch the life slip from her as I held her. As difficult as it was, I did it out of love for her.
Jesus possesses the actual perfect love. He gives every Christian the same love, and His love is unconditional. But the Heavenly Father had to subject Him to a horrible death on the cross for us. Jesus experienced the feeling of God the Father forsaking Him as He suffered and died.
When I think of Truffle, and how terribly hard it was to subject her to death out of love for her, I have to parallel that to how hard it was for God to subject His Son to physical death out of love for the world.
I believe God sometimes gives us these types of hard moments in life so that we can identify with the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for us. But His perfect love did not die with Him, it was only made more accessible through the cross.