SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2012
Mark 15:34 “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me…”
SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 19:25-27; MARK 15:33-35
25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
33And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
There are seven recorded sayings of Christ as he hung on the cross. The first was a prayer that His executioners would be forgiven. The next two were conversations. He spoke to the penitent thief and then to His mother.
Is it not touching that our Lord’s last conversation was with His grieving mother and the beloved disciple beside her? Nowhere in the New Testament do we read of Christ addressing his mother as “mother.” Yet all through the Gospels we see Him honoring her.
Our Lord’s pathetic cry, “Behold your son,” must have cut to her heart. She had carried this miracle in her womb. She had nursed this Christ-child. There was so much that she had kept her heart as she raised this son who from the beginning knew “I must be about my Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49) She was there at His first miracle. She was the one who instructed the servants at the wedding feast—“Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” (John 2:5). She was faithful.
Though her Son was the one who was dying for our sins, she suffered too. Sin is seldom, if ever, without collateral consequence. The Innocent died for our sins but sadly the innocents suffer too. It would be too much to bear but our Savior has “made a way of escape.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
From the cross Jesus made provision for his mother’s care. Godly children honor their parents.At noon, the hour we anticipate the brightest daylight, darkness descended over the whole land. Some have thought a thick layer of clouds blanketed the land. Others believe that it was a total eclipse of the sun. Whatever the cause, when the “Light of the World” was nailed to the cross, the light in the world turned to darkness. Those who deny the Light are finally deprived of the Light.
As our Lord passed through the valley of the shadow He cried, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” Those were familiar words to the Jews who stood near the cross. For centuries they believed the 22nd Psalm spoke of their Messiah. With these words Christ not only identified himself as Messiah, He implored “his own” to believe Him. To His dying breath He never gave up trying.
Of course it is not ontologically possible that Christ, in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9) could have divested Himself of His divinity at this crucial moment. If He had, His sacrifice would have been deprived of its infinite merit. However, it is true that God the Father, purposefully withheld His consolations as Christ suffered and died. He was left in the hands of the worst, so that He might redeem the worst.
The whole sorry scene impresses upon us the doom, the darkness, and the death, caused by sin—yes my sin. I am repulsed. I turn away. I do not want to see it. But I must. For it is:
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down,
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Isaac Watts
PRAYER: Our Father in Heaven, We are so grateful that you gave your only Begotten. We are so thankful that our Lord Jesus laid down His life for us. When we see the price of redemption, we are convicted and broken-hearted. We are so unworthy of your love. We pray that today, and every day, we would take seriously the consequence of sin. We pray that we would walk in the Light of your Word. We pray that we would honor the blood you shed—not only with our words, but in our deeds, and by our love. Everything we are we owe to Thee. We love you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen. “Our Father &c.”