World English Bible translation
15:33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 15:34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is, being interpreted, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
15:35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, "Behold, he calls Elijah."
15:36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to take him down."
15:37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 15:38 The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 15:39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
15:40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 15:41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
They had nailed Jesus onto a cross on the Place of the Skull, Golgotha. All the people that had accused Him came out of the city and watched as He was crucified. They mocked Him and jeered. They yelled out taunting Him that if He was truly the Christ He would save Himself. He had been crucified between two robbers and even they taunted Him from their crosses.
Today's Scripture tells of the last moments of Jesus' life. They had crucified Him on the third hour, or what we would call about 9:00 am. At around noon, darkness fell of the land. It was dark for about three hours as He hung there. At the ninth hour, He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" This is the first line of Psalm 22. This psalm is especially appropriate for the time of His crucifixion. It speaks of a feeling of abandonment and loneliness. The psalmist writes about His enemies taunting Him and feeling completely alone. This psalm expressed the way that Jesus must have felt hanging there.
The people thought He was crying out for Elijah, but Jesus was crying out for His Father. He had taken the weight of the sin of the whole world onto His shoulders. For a moment in time, the full wrath of God toward sin was turned on Him. Jesus, who had never been without the full presence of God, now was completely alone. In the end, like the psalmist, He knew that the Lord would deliver Him. But, for this moment, He could only cry out, "… why have you forsaken me?"
When Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The veil was a heavy curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. No one could pass beyond the veil except the High Priest and only on one day of the year. The veil separated the presence of God from the people. But when Jesus died, the veil was torn in two. The separation was taken away. And it was torn from the top to the bottom. The division between God and His creation was violently rent asunder and the power that accomplished this came from heaven. From now on, nothing would separate God from men. The door to heaven was thrown open at the cross.
God chooses the moments of greatest anguish to achieve the greatest accomplishments. Do you seek a meaning to your pain and your isolation? Do you need to know that God can take your defeat and create something miraculous out of your disasters?
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