Mark 15:34 - Behold the Lamb of God!
Mark 15:34 (KJV) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud
voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being
interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
This is the fourth of seven utterances of Jesus as He hung upon
the cross, sometimes called the Seven Words. No gospel writer
mentions more than three, nor less than one, of these utterances.
Arranged in point of time the seven "utterances" are as follows:
1. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (v. 34).
2. "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in
paradise" (v. 43).
3. "Woman, behold thy son! ... Behold thy mother!" (see on John
4. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46;
5. "I thirst" (John 19:28).
6. "It is finished" (see on John 19:30).
7. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (see on Luke
23:46). [SDA Commentary]
The Gospels report seven utterances by Jesus as He hung on the
cross. Three of these can be assigned to the first three hours, between
9 a.m. and 12 noon. Four can be assigned to the next three hours,
12-3 p.m., during which the scene was shrouded in darkness.
It is traditional during Good Friday services to meditate on
these seven utterances. Surely there is much here for us to ponder.
[Victor Bible Background Commentary]
Mark (and Matthew) recorded only this one of Jesus' seven
sayings from the cross. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]
Jesus had been on the cross for six hours. His cry was a
quotation from Ps 22:1. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
Ps. 22 is often referred to as "the Crucifixion Psalm."
Did God actually forsake Jesus? (15:34) The divine and human
natures of Jesus were never separated, even during the crucifixion. Yet
it is clear, difficult as it is to explain, that Jesus' intimate
fellowship with God the Father was temporarily broken as he took the sin of
the entire world on himself. Jesus used the words of Psalm 22, which
begins with despair but ends with renewed trust in God. By quoting that
psalm, Jesus may have hinted that he knew the broken relationship with
his Father would soon be restored. [Quest SB]
Jesus suffered separation from God on our behalf. Jesus did not
ask this question in surprise or despair. He was quoting the first
line of Psalm 22. The whole psalm is a prophecy expressing the deep
agony of the Messiah's death for the world's sin. Jesus knew that he
would be temporarily separated from God the moment he took upon
himself the sins of the world. This separation was what he had dreaded
as he prayed in Gethsemane. The physical agony was horrible, but
the spiritual alienation from God was the ultimate torture. [Life
For almost all the last 3 hours on the cross Christ suffered in
silence. Then, as the moment of death approached, the last four sayings
burst from Christ's lips of which this is the first. None are
addressed to the witnesses, squinting to pierce the darkness. Instead each
reflects Christ's own inner struggle and His intimate relationship with
Now the Son of God was dying on the cross--dying that He might
take upon Himself the burden of our sins, and suffer death in our
place. For this awesome moment Jesus, who knew no sin, was "made...sin"
for us (2 Cor. 5:21). And at that extended moment, stretching over
three darkened hours, God the Father forsook the Son, turning away
from Him, and Christ experienced spiritual death--isolation from God.
In an awesome sense which we cannot begin to grasp the Godhead
itself was ripped and torn, and the anguish Jesus felt was deeper and
more real than all the anguish felt by our sin-cursed race. All this,
all of history's sin and suffering, was suddenly, stunningly
shouldered by the Son of God, and in the resultant sundering of that
intimate tie that bound Father, Son, and Spirit together, Christ suffered
more than we can ever imagine or begin to know.
Father's hands, so can we. [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
There is a mystery behind that cry which we cannot penetrate.
Maybe it was like this. Jesus had taken this life of ours upon him. He
had done our work and faced our temptations and borne our trials. He
had suffered all that life could bring. He had known the failure of
friends, the hatred of foes, the malice of enemies. He had known the most
searing pain that life could offer. Up to this moment Jesus had gone
through every experience of life except one--he had never known the
consequence of sin. Now if there is one thing sin does, it separates us from
God. It puts between us and God a barrier like an unscalable wall.
That was the one human experience through which Jesus had never
passed, because he was without sin.
It may be that at this moment that experience came upon him--not
because he had sinned, but because in order to be identified completely
with our humanity he had to go through it. In this terrible, grim,
bleak moment Jesus really and truly identified himself with the sin of
man. Here we have the divine paradox--Jesus knew what it was to be a
sinner. And this experience must have been doubly agonizing for Jesus,
because he had never known what it was to be separated by this barrier
That is why he can understand our situation so well. That is why
we need never fear to go to him when sin cuts us off from God.
Because he has gone through it, he can help others who are going through
it. There is no depth of human experience which Christ has not
plumbed. [Barclay Commentary]
As Jesus died, He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?" (v. 34)
These words are undoubtedly the most mysterious in Scripture.
It's not that we can't grasp what they mean. Some, of course, say the
words reflect the pained surprise of a God-intoxicated man, who
finally realized that God would not lift Him from the cross. But the New
Testament gives us a better explanation. Paul said that Jesus was made
"sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21). In a moment of time, the dammed-up flood
of human sin was released, and cascaded with awful force upon and
into the Son of God.
In that moment, when the Son of God became sin for us, the
Father looked away. For the first and only time in all eternity, within
the matrix of the one God, Father and Son were brutally torn apart.
So we do know what the words mean. What we can never understand
is what the experience they represent meant to Father and to Son.
We can never plumb the depths of Jesus' anguish, or sense the waves
of pain that echoed out through all eternity. We can never envision
the corrosive scars that sin engraved on sinlessness.
All we can do is stand at the foot of the cross, hear that cry,
and realize that what Jesus did for us cost Him more than we can
begin to imagine.
And say, "Thank You, LORD." [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
He looked around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three figures
hung on three crosses. Arms spread. Heads fallen forward. They moaned
with the wind.
Men clad in soldiers' garb sat on the ground near the trio. They
played games in the dirt and laughed.
Men clad in religion stood off to one side. They smiled.
Arrogant, cocky. They had protected God, they thought, by killing this
Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the hill.
Speechless. Faces tear streaked. Eyes downward. One put her arm around
another and tried to lead her away. She wouldn't leave. "I will stay,"
she said softly. "I will stay."
All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue. All
eternity poised to protect. But the Creator gave no command.
"It must be done . . . ," he said, and withdrew.
But as he stepped back in time, he heard the cry that he would
someday scream: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He wrenched
at tomorrow's agony.
The angel spoke again. "It would be less painful . .. "
The Creator interrupted softly. "But it wouldn't be love." (In
the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado) [Inspirational SB]
All of us who struggle with abandonment issues can take heart in
knowing that Christ experienced the ultimate kind of abandonment--by God--
as he suffered for our sins on the cross. Because he willingly
endured the darkness of God's absence, we will never have to. God is and
always will be with us. [Life Recovery Devotional SB]
He died forsaken by God so that His people might claim God as
their God and never be forsaken (cf. Heb. 13:5). [Bible Knowledge