Our Lord enabled me to preach this morning on the excruciatingly difficult words of our crucified but soon to be risen Savior when He uttered the words Mark records...>>>
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"(15:34)
Mark records the mysterious darkness descended upon Israel for a three-hour run (v.33), a darkness surely indicative of Israel's rejection of her prophesied Messiah. In John's words, He came to His own, but His own received Him not (John 1:11). Scriptural revelation shows darkness is indicative of separation. For example, in the Exodus, God distinguished--separated--the judged hordes of Egypt from His rescued beloved by darkness so thick, bare skin could "feel" it (Exodus 10:21ff).
Jesus spoke often of darkness as indicative of divine judgment--to be separated into "outer darkness" where the sound of gnashing teeth forever sings tortuous tunes (Matt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).
But why associate such an horrific phenomenon as darkness with the Son of God Whom biblical authors repeatedly associate with heavenly light?
In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:4)
I am the light of the world (John 8:12)
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world (John 9:5)
Only one answer seems adequate. Mark associated darkness with Jesus because in that mysterious, cosmic moment, the Son of God experience separation from God. Exegetes call it the "cry of dereliction," raw abandonment of Father toward His Son.
Do not allow your pesky, linear logic attempt to analyze. Perhaps Luther had it just right: "God abandoning God? Who can understand that?" Place your hand over your mouth and but bow in adoration. We will never understand; we can only trust.
In summary, Christ's "cry of dereliction" reveals three realities:
our sin is exceedingly horrible
God's love is extraordinarily wonderful
our salvation is entirely free
With that, I am...