“And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” vs. 46
As Matthew recounts the last of hours of Jesus he doesn’t include the conversations noted in Luke and John. For him there were no last minute promises, instructions, or heroic gestures. Instead there is complete darkness and silence from noon until three o’clock…and then a cry of total desperation from Jesus, a quote from Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The alienation was complete; Jesus was abandoned, forsaken by God and by humanity. It’s an ugly, cruel scene, and we can’t help feeling a sense of deep sadness. And yet, amazingly enough, countless people find consolation and empathy in these words. They are a connecting point with Jesus. Think of it! There is no condition that we can experience that has not been felt by our Lord. There is no road so remote and dark that hasn’t been walked by Jesus. He knows what’s going on with us, and it feels good to realize that, even if friends and family can’t even guess the depth of our pain and alienation, Jesus does understand…and has been where we are. He knows what death is all about and has experienced its unrelenting approach and presence. He knows the sense of powerlessness that sweeps over us as our deadly foe draws near. Of course we also know the rest of the story, that even when things are hopeless, Easter comes, and in the darkness, as we hang on to that good news, light begins to dawn.
Thought for the Day: Where do I see light in my darkness?