Wednesday, January 14, 2009



                                     "My God, My God, why did you abandon me?"{Matthew 27: 46, Mark 15: 34}. These words were uttered by Jesus from the Cross when a mysterious darkness covered the earth at noon on the first Good Friday. He saw the darkness of man's sin, and experienced the spiritual effect of sin - a separation from God. Jesus felt that for a moment he was abandoned by his Father. This experience of solitude, an apparent abandonment by God, enabled Jesus to bear the burden of man's sin as He was "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" {John 1: 29}. The words of Jesus symbolize the agony of those who are in loneliness, apparently abandoned by God. Here Jesus acts as a mediator for sinners.

                                       These words were foretold by David in his 'cry of anguish' in the Psalms which prophetically refer to His agony on the cross. {Psalms 22:1-21}. The darkness at noon was predicted by prophet Amos, "The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. I will turn your festivals into funerals and change your glad songs into cries of grief" {Amos 8: 9, 10}.

                                       This is the fourth and central word of Jesus from the Cross. Jesus bears the burden of all the sins of humanity, and lives the complete human experience of a sinner separated from God, an experience of descending into a hell of horror, to free us from the clutches of sin. It is by His death that we are redeemed. The Divine nature of Jesus cannot be separated from his human nature, but He willed a withdrawal of His Father's face and all Divine consolation to suffer voluntarily in His human nature the spiritual effects and extreme penalty of sin committed by the whole humanity - that is loneliness or a sense of abandonment or rejection by God. His soul filled with loneliness as His eyes felt the darkness. He acted as a mediator for sinful humanity. The physical agony of crucifixion was insignificant when compared to the mental agony which He took upon Himself.

                                       Archbishop Fulton. J. Sheen remarked, "Christ's cry was of the abandonment which He felt standing in a sinner's place, but it was not of despair. The soul that despairs never cries to God. This emptiness of humanity through sin, though He felt it as His own, was nevertheless spoken with a loud voice to indicate not despair, but rather hope that the sun would rise again and scatter the darkness { 'Life of Christ', St. Paul Publications }."

By: N.G.Philip, Bethel, Nalamchira, Thiruvananthapuram-695015, Kerala, India & Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
This is Message No. 57 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of this page to read previous posts and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of this page to read newer posts in this site.

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