Fourth Word


“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (NRSV, Mark 15:34)

These words of the dying Saviour have in them a mystery which we shall never fathom.  They come from the infinite depths of his sacrifice; they are an expression of that inner spiritual darkness which overwhelmed his soul and of which the darkness that enveloped Calvary was a fitting symbol.

At noon, when the sun was at its brightest, an eerie change came over the land.  The sunshine faded into an uncanny light which quickly passed into an ever deepening gloom.  The people in the streets of Jerusalem looked apprehensively upward.  The priests, busy with the sacrifices in the Temple, called for torches to be lit.  Then as the unnatural night closed in on the scene, the crowd at the Cross fell silent.

For three hours the darkness lasted and then, as it began to lift, that cry of anguish was wrung from our crucified Saviour, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (NRSV, Mark 15:34).

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