“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” –Mark 15:34b (cf. Psalm 22:1)
Scripture reading: Mark 15:21-41
This haunting question from the heart of Jesus ought to send shivers down our spine and pierce our soul. The sinless One hangs suspended between heaven and earth. In utter darkness, the Redeemer experiences a depth of suffering we will never understand. He is forsaken by the heavenly Father.
It is true that during His whole life on earth, Christ sustained, in body and soul, the anger of God against the sin of the whole human race. But especially at the end, oh, how He suffered. This He did in order that, by His suffering as the only atoning sacrifice, He might set believers free, body and soul, from eternal condemnation. And in turn, this suffering gains for the true Christian, God’s grace, righteousness and eternal life. He suffered to free believers from the severe judgment of God that we rightly deserve. He went all the way to the death because God’s justice and truth demand it. By the power of His divinity, He bore the weight of God’s anger in His humanity and earned and restored righteousness and life to all those who have been set free in Christ. Our Saviour shouldered the curse which rightfully belongs to all of us. Death by crucifixion was accursed by God (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 17, 37, 39, 40).
The birth of Christ brought God to man; the cross of Christ brought man to God. The wonder of it all cannot be comprehended. Will you dedicate yourself as an offering of gratitude to Him? (cf Q&A 43; Psalm 116:12-14).
Suggestions for prayer
Give praise to God: Christ, in love, experienced the horror of hell – suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul – so that His disciples, through all ages, would be delivered from the anguish and torment of hell.
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