MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY...?
“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Elo-i, Elo-i, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ And some of the bystanders hearing it said, ‘Behold, he is calling Elijah.’ And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” (Mk 15: 33-39)
Centuries before the events of this Holy and Great Friday, when the All-powerful became powerless, and the Life-Giver died, the Prophet Isaiah explained that “we” were the ones “in trouble,” and not Him, even while those who had Him crucified believed He was disrupting “our peace.” But He took our “trouble” and false “peace” upon Himself, in order to expose it, and vanquish it, in Him: “He bears our sins,” Isaiah proclaims, “and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace (παιδεία εἰρήνης ἡμῶν) was upon him; and by his wounds we were healed.” (Is 53: 4-5)
As I weep today, with the Church, beholding the crucifixion, abandonment, and death of our Lord many Fridays ago, I remember that He takes all our darkness upon Himself wilfully, in order to bring us out of it into new Life and new Light, with Him and in Him. He takes on our derision, anger, cruelty, despair, and injustice, – so we no longer need to unleash those things on one another, nor upon ourselves. “For God so loved the world.” (Jn 3: 16) Glory be to Him.