Good Friday – the 15th of Nisan
After celebrating the Passover, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He stood trial through the night before the Sanhedrin, Pontus Pilate, and Herod Antipas. Then he was beaten and handed over to be crucified.
The Son of Man was lifted up at 9 AM this morning, so that everyone who looks on him and believes may have eternal life. (John 3:14-15) (Numbers 21:9) While on the cross, he continues to teach and care for those who might have faith in him.
And when the sixth hour had come (12 pm), there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (3 pm). And at the ninth hour Jesus cries out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33-34)
Before the church added chapter and verse numbers, the Psalms were known by the first line of the hymn. Jesus is referencing the title of a song that has been sung in Sabbath worship for 1,000 years, and many standing in front of the cross would know this song well. As Jesus cried out the first line, the rest of the song would continue in their minds.
Imagine standing in front of the cross and watching the Lord be crucified as these lyrics run through your mind:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; (Matthew 27:39-43)
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots. (John 19:23-24)
But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.
The prophetic song opens with a question and ends with the answer.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
I. I will tell of your name to my brothers (Psalm 22:22)
II. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! (22:26)
III. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. (22:27)
IV. All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. (22:29)
V. The coming generation shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it. (Psalm 22:31)
Imagine standing in front of the cross. As you sing through these lyrics, you hear the voice of Christ in your mind cry out, “May your hearts live forever!”
When I imagine the Savior singing these lines over me, I think of this song by Drew Holcomb. Take some time to listen and reflect on what Christ accomplished for you this Good Friday.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
If you missed the articles from earlier this week, follow the links below: