Where Are You?
Loving God, how grateful I am that nothing in all the world can separate me from Your love (Rom. 8:39).
Read Mark 15:33-41
 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”  Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”  Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.  In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat impression did Jesus make on one bystander?
The four Aramaic words Jesus speaks from the cross, perhaps the most desolate ever spoken, are known as “the cry of dereliction.” This is the only time we hear of Jesus not being one with the Father. He responded to temptation in the wilderness and opposition from the religious authorities with Scripture. Here Jesus uses scripture to call out to the Father. These words, “Why have you forsaken me?” (34; Psa. 22:1), echo those of God in the garden, calling out to Adam, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). It is farcical that the bystanders mistook the Hebrew Eloi for Elijah (35). Even the pagan Roman centurion showed more understanding. He would have witnessed many deaths, but the remarkable way Jesus died made him confess, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (39). The earth itself knew the desolation of those hours, as it covered itself in darkness (33). The Temple curtain was torn in two (38), as if rending its garments in sorrow. The torn curtain also symbolized the end of our separation from God. Jesus’ painful separation from the Father is what gives us access to the most holy place and allows us to walk again with our Father in the garden.
Spend a little time now drawing close to the Father, thanking him that you can do so because of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, may I draw closer to You each day and, through You, draw closer to the Father, also.
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