Why Have You Forsaken Me?

This post is part of a series that will take us up to the Easter holiday that celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord.

Mark 15:33–36 (ESV)33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”

As Jesus died on the cross, we read that there was “darkness over the whole land.” Darkness is a word that tells us that there was no light, but it also carries the meanings of lament and judgment. It seems that all of these meanings are in view in this passage. God’s divine wrath was poured on on Christ as he payed for the sins of mankind. And there was despair in all of creation as the Creator suffered and died.

Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was a quotation of Psalm 22, which begins in a cry of despair, but ends with a proclamation of trust in the purposes of God. In quoting this Psalm, Jesus tells us that even in the midst of what seemed like a great defeat, the plans of God to save the world were being fulfilled. God was still sovereign and all things were working together for the good of those who trust in him. This dark hour would soon pass and give way to the glorious victory of the resurrection.

Father, thank you for fulfilling your plans and purposes for our salvation. Thank you for always being in control so that we can trust and have hope that even in the darkness your good purposes are being fulfilled. Thank you for our Savior. Amen.

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