He Was Forsaken

I had a long trip in the car, yesterday. As I was traveling, the Lord Jesus continually brought Hebrews 13:5 to mind, which is the verse I mentioned in my post yesterday morning. It says,
Let your conversation (1) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Hebrew believers were exhorted to live free from greediness and be content. Why? Because Jesus had promised that He would never leave them nor forsake them. We have everything, because we have Jesus, therefore we may be content and free from greed.

As I thought about all that is going on in the world, this statement kept coming into my mind: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Things are looking bleak in Europe. How will that eventually affect my family? “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Anti-God movements are growing. What will I do when I must take a stand? “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

The Lord Jesus brought that statement before me with every fear or doubt that entered my mind. The truth that He is always with me made me deeply aware that He was even in the car as I travelled. Not only was He in the car, but He was in me. He is in me as I type these words at my desk. Wow! (Colossians 1:27)

As I meditated on this truth, I was reminded that this One who promises that He will never leave nor forsake His people was forsaken. He was forsaken at the cross. Matthew 27:46 says, 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?

The same Greek word is used for “forsaken” in Matthew 27:46 and Hebrews 13:5. It is egkataleipō; it means “to leave behind in some place” (2). William Mounce says it means “abandon” (3). Jesus was left behind by the Father; He was abandoned by the Father.

Why was Jesus abandoned? He was abandoned as our Substitute. This is exactly what every one of us deserves for our sin. We deserve to be abandoned and cursed by God for our sin. Jesus became a curse for us when He was crucified (Galatians 3:13). Our never-abandoning Lord was abandoned for us. Since Jesus was condemned for us, condemnation has been removed from all who believe in Him.

Jesus can faithfully promise that He will never abandon us, because He has already been abandoned for us.

As doubts and questions come into our minds, may we remember that the One abandoned for us will never abandon us. He has faithfully said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Whatever evils we may face, we will never face them alone.


  1. “Conversation” = “conduct.” Let your manner of life be without covetousness (greed).
  2. Strongs Concordance, G1459.
  3. Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary. Edited by William D. Mounce with Rick D. Bennett, Jr. (c) 1993 All Rights Reserved. http://www.teknia.com/greek-dictionary