‘I am forsaken by God’ read the small sign on the belly of a man who is a crack addict. He’s also a Muslim by background and culture and I’ve got to know him over the years from the streets.
I shared my lunch with him as we sat on the ground, enjoying a few rays of sunshine on a cold autumnal day.
He usually wears unusual homemade signs and stickers which he places on himself. ‘In prison.’ Is one of his favourites. ”Rejected’ is another.
We sat munching on the shared halloumi wrap and I simply said “that’s impossible- how can you be God forsaken?”
He thought for a while and said, “well what about Jesus? He was forsaken by God.” I responded quickly with a mouth full of food, “yes but you know why don’t you?”
He shook his head and looked at the ground.
“Because all your crap and sin was placed upon Him. All that sin from you and I that separate us from God was placed upon Jesus in our place- so that we no longer have to live a life of being forsaken by God.”
He stopped chewing for a moment and asked me what I meant.
“On the cross Jesus died in your place!” I announced.
He looked at me and simply announced over and over, “That is good news that is!”
What Christians have is really good news.
It’s news that deserves to be heard and brings with it power and freedom to know that humankind is now not rejected and left out in the cold. God has paid the price for sinfulness and hopelessness through Jesus.
Do you know this? If so, let someone know! If not, may I humbly challenge you to investigate what Jesus has done. His very life, death on a cross and resurrection once more from the dead is a true sign that you are dearly loved.
God has made a way for you to come home.