Lent 2022 Day 39
Fri 15 Apr
Matthew 27:45-50 Matthew emphasises fulfilled prophecy
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.
It’s Good Friday today, and in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, we read those words of Jesus. They have their first appearance in Psalm 22. I encourage you to read that psalm so that you may spot some other verses that also appear in the full account.
Jesus was on the cross for at least three hours, suffering not only physically unbearable pain, but also the weight of your sin and my sin. His death was a sacrifice, an offering of blood to Father God, that would take away forever the demands of the Old Covenant, for here God is doing a new thing. The priests of Judah were instituted to accept and consume by fire the sin-offerings of the people. Every infringement of the Law had a penalty. There was a scale of offerings, from wheat, to birds and animals whose blood was spattered on the altar of sacrifice as payment.
Jesus in his death on the cross became the Great High Priest, who was without sin, who made a sacrifice of himself to pay in full the penalty. He wore no fine robes, and there was no incense or oil to mask him. The secret Holy Place was now high on a wooden cross. Father God knew that this was something Jesus had to complete alone, and so he had to leave him suffering.
Do not imagine that Jesus had some bad luck when they crucified him. This was what he came for; this is what he achieved; this is why he is the Lamb upon the heavenly throne; this is why we are forgiven through repentance (do not shorten this word to “penance” as a substitution for repentance), and why we may approach father God without fear and finally be with Jesus in his eternal heavenly kingdom.
Did God forsake Jesus? Can you explain your answer?
How does repentance work?
Can I put off repentance until later?
Father God, thank you for Jesus. Amen. And I’ll say it every day in eternity.