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Friday, March 29, 2024

Words of Christ on the Cross, Part 2

Mark 15:34

“34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)”

John 19:28

“28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar  was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.”

We often forget that the Son of God was not only divine but also human.  In this context, He had lived the life of humanity; He had done the work that we do, suffered in the way we suffer, he knew the agony of hunger and thirst, and he had faced the temptations and trials that we face.  He knew the love and the betrayal of friends, and the hatred of enemies.

And now he experienced a suffering no person had ever suffered; the suffering for the sins of humanity and the deep, dark separation from God that is caused by such an accumulation of sins.

The cross was the final temptation for Christ.  The people who witnessed the crucifixion were yelling at him to save himself, to come down from the cross if He were truly the Messiah and in this we hear echo of the voice of Satan in the wilderness.

But it was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross. 

It was love.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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