March 20, 2008

A Cry of Anguish

Matthew 27:45-50

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”?
Matthew 27:46


For three hours the sun hid its face and the sky went dark. A cry of anguish came from the Savior’s parched lips: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” cried Jesus. He who was the light of the world found himself in utter darkness.

From about noon until three o’clock in the afternoon Jesus suffered as he hung on the cross. Those three hours of darkness were a reminder of three days of darkness that occurred before God delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt (see Exodus 10:21-23). Jesus entered three hours of God-forsaken darkness to set his people free from the dark night of sin.

On the day that Jesus was crucified, the Jewish people were preparing to celebrate the Passover, the feast that commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. On that same day the Passover lambs would be slain. And on that Friday, Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), cried out in anguish and gave up his spirit.

Jesus was forsaken by God because our sin had to be punished by the holy God. Anything sinful cannot stand in God’s presence. Jesus uttered his cry of anguish to express his being forsaken by God for our sake.

When you feel abandoned in the darkness of this broken, sinful world, Jesus will lead you to the light.

Lord, we will never understand your anguish on the cross. Thank you that you went into the darkness so that we may live in the light. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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