And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice - "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus’ cry is purposeful. His words are a direct quote from Psalm 22, the Crucifixion Psalm! And He knows it!
This Psalm – written nearly 1,000 years earlier - also predicted the people’s rejection of Him, the insults they hurled, the pain of the crucifixion, the piercing of his hands and feet and even the dividing of His clothes!
Now, ever the Teacher – even in the excruciating agony of the cross – Jesus is sending a message of hope.
Yes, because while Jesus quotes the first verse of Psalm 22, He also knows very well how the Psalm ends. With victory! His cry is of victory! Victory in seeming defeat!
This doesn’t mean that our Lord wasn’t suffering real feelings of abandonment on the cross. The physical pain was intense. The spiritual even greater!
We can never comprehend the suffering of bearing the sins of the whole world. Surely, He experienced the loneliness and abandonment sin always brings. Our sin, not His!
Nor is this is a cry of surprise. He knew perfectly well what He came to do, why, and what it would mean for Him. He predicted this many times.
By quoting Psalm 22 He is actually making another prediction. Like the Psalm, this will all end very well for Him. His cry is for us. For our faith!
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.