Monday, October 4, 2021
45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Finally, around mid-afternoon, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
47-49 Some bystanders who heard him said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so he could drink. The others joked, “Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see if Elijah comes and saves him.”
50 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.
-Matthew 27:45-50 The Message
Verse 45: From the sixth-hour darkness, fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
Verse 45 study: God has his way of making it dark. Nobody knew how darkness occurred; that’s how amazing God is. Nevertheless, nature did testify to the gravity of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ friends and enemies fell silent in the encircling gloom. The darkness on Friday afternoon was physical and spiritual.
Verse 46: And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabaktanei?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Verse 46 study: At the beginning of Psalm 22, Jesus was quoting the line, not questioning God. It’s a profound expression of the anguish he felt when he took on the world’s sins, which caused him to be separated from God, his father. Jesus dreaded this and prayed to God in the garden to take the cup from him (26:39). The agony on the physical side was horrible; it made it worse the period of spiritual separation from God. So he suffered two deaths so we would never have to experience eternal separation from God.
Verse 47: And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, said, “This man is calling for Elijah.”
Verse 48: And immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.
Verse 49: But the rest of them said, “Let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.”
Verse 50: And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.
Verse 47 study: Bystanders misinterpreted Jesus’ words. People believed he called out for Elijah. But Elijah went to heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:11), they thought he would return again to rescue them from good trouble (Malachi 4:5). Each family’s annual Passover feast set an extra place for Elijah in expectation of his return.
Father, the world is experiencing separation from you. That’s the most significant trouble in the world. Let us pray to stay away from sin and keep the spiritual connection with you. Jesus knew how much he suffered from separating from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!