But through Him and to Him does he take his way who treads the path of His endurance and humiliation.
On that road you may be sure there are not wanting the heats of toil, the clouds of sadness, the storms of fear.
The snares of the wicked, the persecutions of the unbelieving, the threats of the powerful, the insults of the proud are there.
And all these things the Lord of hosts and King of glory passed through in the form of our weakness and in the likeness of sinful flesh.
He did this so that, amid the danger of this present life, we might desire not so much to avoid and escape them as to endure and overcome them.
Hence it is that the Lord Jesus Christ, our Head, representing all the members of His body in Himself, and speaking for those whom He was redeeming in the punishment of the cross, uttered that cry which He had once uttered in the psalm: “O God, My God, look upon Me: why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
That cry, dearly-beloved, is a lesson, not a complaint.
For in Christ there is one person of God and man, and He could not have been forsaken by Him, from Whom He could not be separated.
Accordingly, it is on behalf of us, trembling and weak ones, that He asks why the flesh that is afraid to suffer has not been heard.
For when the Passion was beginning, to cure and correct our weak fear He had said: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will but as Thou.”
And again He said, “Father, if this cup cannot pass except I drink it, Thy will be done.”
He had conquered the tremblings of the flesh, and had now accepted the Father’s will. Trampling all dread of death under foot, He was then carrying out the work of His design.
Why, then, at the very time of His triumph over such a victory does He seek the cause and reason of His being forsaken, that is, not heard?
He does this to show that the feeling which He entertained in excuse of His human fears is quite different from the deliberate choice which, in accordance with the Father’s eternal decree, He had made for the reconciliation of the world
And thus the very cry of “Unheard” is the exposition of a mighty Mystery, because the Redeemer’s power would have conferred nothing on mankind if our weakness in Him had obtained what it sought.
Leo the Great (c.400-461): Sermon 67, 6-7.