45At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.46At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Jesus said many things while on Earth, but few if any say so much in so few words. There are so many different possible ways to understand this one sentence, and it is likely in my mind that ALL of them are correct.
- Jesus felt completely abandoned by his Father. At this moment Jesus is taking on all our sins. God is completely holy. There had to be complete separation and Jesus had to die for all of us. God has so often portrayed marriage as a sign of his unity and of Christian unity. I believe that as a child’s DNA is an indivisible unity of its parents, so is the unity of God and Jesus. Now imagine dividing a child’s unity. That is the separation pain that I think Jesus felt on the cross at this moment. I think this pain was far worse than the whips, or the nails, or the cross. And he suffered this for us.
- This is also obviously the first line of Psalm 22. I have inserted that Psalm below for your reference. This Psalm was likely written 1,000 years before Christ and yet it reads as if it were written the day after his resurrection. This is an incredible testimony to the authority and inspiration of the Bible. It is hard for me to imagine any open-minded person reading these two passages and not coming to the conclusion that the Bible was inspired by someone who knew and controlled the future. These words of Christ on the cross calls us to incredible faith in his word.
- Lastly, this was a merciful invitation by Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders to repent and recognize him as the true Messiah and their Savior. Any good Pharisee, Sadducee or Scribe of the time would have had the 22nd Psalm memorized. If they were standing there mocking Jesus and celebrating their victory, these words of his should have struck them to the core. They surely would have recited them in their heads. They had to have known they were watching it’s fulfillment before their eyes. He could have just ignored them and left them die in their sins. But not our merciful Lord. Jesus, in the midst of his misery calls out to the people who hated him the most.
Lord, please bless me with one millionth of the compassion, mercy and love. *obbs*