45 From noon until three o’clock, the whole land was covered with darkness. 46 About three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalm 22:1) 47 Some of those standing there heard Jesus cry out. They said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48 Right away one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar and put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 After Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, he died. 51 At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook. The rocks split. 52 Tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs. After Jesus was raised to life, they went into the holy city. There they appeared to many people. 54 The Roman commander and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened. They were terrified. They exclaimed, “He was surely the Son of God!” 55 Not very far away, many women were watching. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to take care of his needs. 56 Mary Magdalene was among them. Mary, the mother of James and Joses, was also there. So was the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Wow, in this passage I see a beautiful call and response between son and father. We see Jesus alone on the cross and bearing the weight of sin crying out to His father, “Why have you forsaken me.” The desperation and agony of the moment so overwhelming, Jesus reveals how alone and vulnerable He feels. And at first glance it seems as if God does not answer, Jesus dies with His cry lingering in the air…. But if we take a closer look we see the God who made heaven and earth, the loving Father, answering His son’s cry in turn, in an unmissable way, with the kind of volume that even the Roman soldiers could not ignore. Jesus cried out with His voice, but God responded by blocking out the light, by tearing the curtain in two, by shaking the earth and breaking rocks, by causing the dead to rise, and even causing the very Romans who had crucified Him and dismissed Him to believe in His identity… Oh yes, God the Father answers alright, His actions are loud, He has not watched His Son die without cause, He has restrained Himself for this moment, and now, He shows the world that He is in control. He has not forsaken His Son, and three days later He will restore life to Him, and set Him by His side in heaven, in triumph for all eternity. Wow.
Where in my life am I crying out – where are you God? Why don’t you seem to be present, and moving on my behalf? What encouragement I gain from this. My God answers that cry. He has heard that cry from His Son, God knows how to answer. God knew what He was doing. It is no easy thing for God to watch His children suffer, but He is not passive, He has a plan bigger than my momentary suffering. God will answer me, whether I am currently seeing it or not.
God, please help me to stir faith, I want to wait expectantly for you, even when something has died or seemingly got as bad as it can get, thank you God that you can and will move. Amen
Written by Beth Waugh