45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”
48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
sixth hour (v.45) = noon
ninth hour (v.45) = 3 p.m.
darkness (v.45) — supernatural
In Matthew, Jesus’ cry (v.46) is partly in Hebrew (Eli = “My God”) and the rest in Aramaic. The words are a quote from Psalm 22:1.
These words mark the climax of the suffering of Christ for a lost world. Here He drank to the dregs the cup of sorrow, grief, and pain on our behalf. In these hours when the sun refused to shine upon suffering deity, Jesus found fitting expression to His feeling of desolation in the words of the Psalmist. Isaiah had given a vivid portrayal of the suffering Servant who was to be “wounded for our transgressions.” John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as “the Lamb of God that taketh away the collective sin of a world of sinners.” Christ gave Himself a “ransom for many.” Him who knew no sin God “made sin” for us. On the cross Christ became a “curse for us” and so redeemed us from the curse of the law. We are “redeemed by the precious blood of Christ” shed on Calvary. He gave Himself a “ransom for all.” The writers of the Gospels make it plain that Jesus “had a baptism to be baptized with” and a “cup to drink.” Paul and other writers of the epistles lay out clearly the same plan of redemption. Jesus had to pay the price alone and tasted death — spiritual death — for every man. Spiritual death is broken communion. Jesus had a taste of such a broken communion, the first and last He ever experienced — in those desolate hours when darkness lay upon the earth and upon His soul. That is the reason He used the words of distressed astonishment: Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani (Hebrew) — “My God, My God, to what end or purpose hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Christ’s cry, “Why have you forsaken me?” testified to the fact that He had here entered into spiritual death — separation from God as the sinner’s Substitute. His physical death would soon follow as He fully tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9) — Pentecost, pages 485-486
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