I was gripped by a recent article in The Daily Citizen titled The Cross as a Crisis of Fatherhood.  We have just observed Holy Week. Never in my memory has our nation been so confused and conflicted about gender.  The struggle of gender identity has been transformed from preferences to the sudden rise of “trans” violence, bringing a whole new level of savagery to our nation. Then I read this insightful article about Jesus experiencing abandonment by his Father.  

The article ends with this: “We should remember this: Fatherhood is of deep spiritual consequence and Satan hates it.  No wonder it is under such attack, not just in the Cross on Good Friday, but in our culture and families today as well.”

On Good Friday, we observe a crisis in Fatherhood: “How do you wound a father more than killing his only, dearly beloved son?” In Matthew and Mark, Jesus’ last words were “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Just before Jesus breathed his last, Luke tells us, He “called out in a loud voice…’Father into your hands I commit my spirit.’” John simply writes, “It is finished.” 

In Matthew and Mark, Jesus does not use the intimate term “Father” but rather a more impersonal term “My God.” Why? “The Son, utterly forsaken by even His Father, declares it is finished and the world turns dark. A profound, mysterious crisis of Fatherhood. For the first time – and the last – in all eternity, the perfect intimacy between… Father and Son was severed in some profound way.”

Richard John Neuhaus explains, “Here is the cry of dereliction, the cry of abandonment, from the derelict, the abandoned one.”  He adds, “The Greek word used suggests that [Jesus] screamed with a loud cry, ‘My God, my God, for what reason have you forsaken me?'”  Dereliction describes the desperation of Jesus.  The Daily Citizen observes, “There is real relational pathos going on here on the cross.”

Neuhaus continues, “Like a derelict boat cast upon the shore, like a dog carcass lying by the roadside, here is something no longer of any account; it is forsaken, abandoned, thrown aside. Roadkill.”  When Jesus was in agony in the garden, sweating drops of blood, The Daily Citizen suggests, “At its heart, Christ’s profound agony and anxiety were likely rooted in a more intense pain: His impending separation from the Father.”

Satan believed he had achieved victory.  By “dividing the eternally loving Father and Son… the Evil One attacked fatherhood at its core.  And Jesus felt it viscerally.  It is contained in the Savior’s desperate last words.”  But we know the rest of the story: “A glorious union happened in the Resurrection and the Ascension.  Satan was not ultimately victorious.”  

Men, picture Jesus dying for you.  “…It was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down… He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins” (Is. 53:4-5 NLT). Today you might feel “forsaken, abandoned, thrown aside.”  In these nasty “gender wars” you might feel like “roadkill.”  Remember the enemy wants you to feel abandoned like Jesus. He wants to destroy your sense of manhood, especially if you are a father. 

Jesus endured relational pathos and forsakenness for you.  Satan gave it his best shot, thinking he had gotten rid of Jesus. But he never envisioned resurrection energy flowing through our bodies. Men, you are not abandoned.  Don’t believe the lie being perpetuated in our culture.  You have a loving Father in heaven, who came and rescued you from your loneliness, allowing resurrection power to reside in you. Claim it!