When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15: 33-34
As we embark upon Good Friday, arguably among the holiest of holy days, the tension and the anticipation are palpable. When I read this passage, I can clearly envision the darkened landscape at Golgotha, ‘the place of the skull.’ Was the darkness symbolic of Satan’s imminent victory as the Son of God was so close to death? I can see the people milling about under the three crosses as they wait to see what will happen.
Will Elijah come to save Jesus from this horrible fate? Will he continue to be taunted and given vinegar to quench his thirst? But more clearly than these, I see the cross of Jesus rising ominously in the dark with his nearly lifeless body hanging in tortured defeat. How truly deserted and forsaken he must have felt. But through all of the pain, despair and fear through his obedience unto death, Jesus claimed victory and pardon for us and handed Satan his defeat.Prayer: Dear Lord, Please help us to use the darkness and despair of Good Friday to gain a better understanding of the unbelievable gift of eternal life that could only come through Jesus’ pain, suffering, and death. Help us to prepare to know the joy and victory that comes from finding the empty tomb on Easter morning. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.