On this most solemn day we recount the Passion of our Lord Jesus. We hear again the most despairing of cries from atop the cross,
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”…Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:34, 37-38).
It is heartbreaking to hear these words from his lips. Has God abandoned His only Son?
Those at the feet of the cross pause. They wait, thinking he is calling to the prophet Elijah. Perhaps he will come down from the cross. These words can plunge our hearts into despair. But we can be reassured as we read further the Psalm our Lord quotes. After a sigh of despair it continues:
“Yet you, O God, are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you set them free. When they cried to you, they escaped. In you they trusted and never in vain … for God has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch, did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out…and I will live for the Lord; my descendants will serve you. The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought”(Psalm 22:4-6; 25; 31-32).
The Lord breathed his last. He was taken down from the cross. He was placed in the arms of his mother and then in the tomb. Now we wait. Now we wait with hope.