Resurrection Day 2015: How Long, O Lord? and other cries of the human heart

We recently covered a song (above – yep that's us) during a Sunday morning worship time which seems to have resonated with many in ways we did not anticipate. The question put forth by the song based on Psalm 13 is, “How long, O Lord?”

We ask such human questions of our lives and the lives of others in our confusion and weakness as we experience the broken things of this world. So did the writers of many Psalms and other Scriptures. I thought of some friends going through frightening medical concerns shortly before approaching the mic that morning. Others, of course, processed questions through their own unique lenses. Why is this happening? God, where are you? Are you there? Do you care?

We can find it a comfort, then, that the Perfect Human, the God-Man, asked a question too. Even through His pain on the cross, “...at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34)
Unlike us, however, Jesus knew a bigger and ultimate picture, and the answer to His question allows us to see ahead to something greater as well.

Jesus’ question quotes the beginning of Psalm 22, which also pointed ahead to all He was suffering in great detail. While David, the Psalm’s author, experienced this question in frustration and fear as we might, and our suffering may be truly unjust or simply unexplained, Jesus is the only one who can ask this question as the completely innocent sufferer undeserving of such horrifying abandonment. Though He never did wrong, Jesus was willing to leave the comforts of Heaven and suffer too, to hang between Earth and sky, the mediator between the perfection of God and our broken desires to persist in ways God warns against, and which can only lead to our death and separation from Him.

Jesus was forsaken in that moment to briefly experience this separation and death so we ultimately don’t have to, so our relationship with God can be renewed, along with our world, forever. His resurrection three days later shows us His power to restore all things. Through this, He calls us back to Himself and gives hope in every question we may ask if we go to Jesus, abandon our own broken desires and believe Him.

Because of the cross, the answer to a painful, “How long?,” can be, “Not forever.” Life in this world is much shorter than we think, but eternity is beyond anything we can imagine. I urge you to think seriously about who Jesus is and what He’s done, and to trust Him through every question and cry of your own heart.

Resurrection Day blessings †

Original recording by Sojourn Music...

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