November 3, Saturday

Crucifixion depicted as Stabat Mater with the Virgin Mary, Porto AlegreBrasil, 19th century.

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Matthew 27:46.

The Lord Jesus had been hanging on the cross for six hours. For the past three hours impenetrable darkness had concealed what was happening. On account of such unusual darkness at midday everything was quiet there at Golgotha. Suddenly, from the cross at the centre a loud cry rang out in the Aramaic language: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Then all was silent again. God gave no answer. He remained silent, because He had indeed forsaken the Lord Jesus. Abandoned and lonely, the Saviour hung on the cross laden with the guilt of countless persons. What Paul wrote about Christ: “He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us” was taking place there and then (2 Corinthians 5:21). The prophet Isaiah had prophesied the atoning sufferings of the Messiah long before: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5).

In several psalms, Psalm 22 in particular, we can read what the Lord Jesus must have felt, as He bore the punishment that God meted out for our sins. No event in world history shows up more clearly God’s holiness and His great love towards us. For this reason the message of the Saviour’s cross is a hearty invitation to everyone to put things right with God today.

Image: By User:Tetraktys – Own work, Public Domain,