Good Friday by Brian Whitaker
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.
Here we are. The final moments of Christ’s life.
We have torment and terror. This passage is the darkest, the most terrible and uncompromising in the entire Bible. Our Lord, the one we adore, the one we yearn for, is leaving us – lost and alone.
We have a world cut off from light, cast down in darkness, in homage to the depth of despair he and his friends must suffer. Everything appears lost, all the promises seem broken, and his vision for a better world seems so far away. Of course the land is dark. No light shines through.
We have misunderstandings, again. Even at the last possible second, the people don’t see what he sees. He shouts out to God, and bystanders think he’s calling for Elijah. They think he wants wine vinegar, when he wants nothing less than to save everyone, everywhere.
We have the depths of disappointment. His entire life, as far as anyone around knows, has been a complete waste. His family and friends, gawkers and soldiers, are gazing on the last moments of a man…and apparently, just a man. No divine salvation here, as far as anyone can tell – just shame and suffering and senseless death.
The entire world stands by, hopeless, as Jesus, our promised Messiah, gasps out his final breath. There’s no possibility of redemption.
Jesus is dead.
And we are lost.