About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
I see two main themes in this verse—one, it reminds us of Psalm 22 as Jesus uses the familiar words—My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. For the faithful Jew, those words are not just a reminder of the 1st verse, but they draw you into the rest of the psalm—the psalm that articulates the pain and frustration of suffering, of feeling alone, and yet fully turns to God for hope. The psalm that recounts the insults and injuries borne when others hate us and curse us, the psalm that draws us into death—parched, broken circled by vultures, and the psalm that in the end that knows God will save, not just the psalmist, but the poor, the broken-hearted, those that have been broken and neglected, they too will know the saving grace of God.
Two: Jesus feeling forsaken, left there to endure the insults, the pain, the hurt. The Son, endured the pain, the anguish, the suffering, he, God incarnate, bore the worst pains imaginable. Not exactly the fate one might envision for the all powerful creator God. I’m inclined to think the all powerful would never have to suffer, never have to feel pain, and yet, for our sake, God chose pain, God chose suffering, God chose servant hood, and God chose death so that we might have life. And in his full humanity, Christ bore the pain, he suffered, and much like us in our pain and suffering, he asked after God—where are you God? If you are with me, then how can I feel so bad? Have no doubt, Jesus felt pain, God didn’t just play act suffering and death, God lived it. And in that we celebrate, ironically, often. We celebrate that God chose us, that God is not aloof and indifferent to our pain, our suffering, our reality, God knows it and understands it because God lived it. God lived like us, hurt like us, and died like us so that we might live like God.