After - Day 11

The Final Three Hours of Jesus on the Cross (Noon-3pm)

Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; and John 19:28-30

God draws a supernatural darkness over the scene. Jesus, as the Lamb of God, is "forsaken" (i.e., judicially disfellowshipped, rejected) by the Father, suffering the agony and torment of spiritual death (i.e., separation from the Father) on behalf of fallen men. (It was the prospect of this spiritual separation that had so terrified Jesus as He contemplated the cross.) Jesus is silent until late in the three hours, and then He speaks four times: 1) in agony, "My God, why...," 2) to those standing by: "I thirst!" (Jesus had something more to say, but His mouth and throat were so parched by the ordeal of crucifixion that He did not have the physical strength to say it; thus this request for moisture for His lips), 3) to a breathlessly waiting world, a cry of sublime victory: "It is finished," and 4) having completed the awful task: "Father, into thy hands...." The Prince of Life lays down His physical life for three dark days.

We will spend the last few days of this week thinking about these statements.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This cry of dereliction must have been a significant low point for Jesus. He knew that he would be mocked and beaten by the Romans. He knew that he would be rejected by his fellow Jews. He knew that even his family would struggle with who he was. He expected his friends and disciples would deny him. But for Jesus to come to the realization that the separation that he so feared from God was happening as well, was almost too much for him to handle.

Over the years, people have tried to explain away this particular saying. We know that this was a quote from Psalm 22, so some have said he was singing through this time. And while it certainly could have been a song that people knew, it was at least a song that spoke to the reality that he was experiencing at the time.

There have been those who have said that it was a cry of victory. This seems pretty far-fetched to me. Whatever it was, it doesn’t seem like it was Jesus crying a victory over anything at the time. It actually feels like the opposite of this. It was much more a cry of isolation and separation than anything else, and victory certainly seems far away from this particular outpouring of emotion.

No, I believe this to be a true cry of dereliction. Jesus, in the pain that he was suffering, in the anguish that he was experiencing, cries out to God in a true cry of confusion. Where did God go in such a time as this? Was God no longer there?

I don’t believe so. Think about this, if you had never experienced sin before, what would it feel like to carry the sin of the world? It must have been overwhelming, and the separation that sin gives us would have been happening to Jesus at that moment. My bet is that he used words that were familiar to him in this Psalm. He cried out because he didn’t have the words, so he let this song cry out for him.
  1. Have you ever used the words of a song to speak to your emotions? 
  2. What do you think Jesus was trying to emote in this sentence? 
  3. How can you let God know what you are feeling today? 
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