10. Jesus Dies on the Cross

Scripture: Matthew 27:45-54

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Reflection:

The final words of Jesus on the cross are ancient words. Jesus was not the first to speak these words. King David wrote these words centuries before in Psalm 22. It is extraordinary to think that God’s voice, which came to David, is already speaking the nearness of God to Jesus on the cross. Seeing this foretelling of the suffering of Jesus shows us that God knows what we are up against in our own lives.

Activity:

Read Psalm 22. As you read look at the detail with which the suffering of Jesus is described in this Psalm and recognize the ability of God to see the past, present, and future of your life.

Prayer:

Father, I confess that sometimes it feels like you have abandoned me and are distant from me. Help me to know that You are near the brokenhearted. Help me trust you today, knowing that You are aware of what the future holds for me. Amen.

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