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, “Eloi, Eloi, lema 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 someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, 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 in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
Comment: How often in the preceding trials have we read that Jesus remained silent before His accusers. The other gospels give us other things that Jesus said while on the cross, and they are all very significant, but Mark gives us only one – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? This was the greatest moment of suffering for Jesus. He tasted hell. The real horror of hell is separation from God. And the Son, who had known a perfect relationship with His Father from the beginning of time, as part of the Triune Godhead, bore the agony of separation – hell – for the sins of mankind. What the Jews and Pilate had failed to see, the centurion did. “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
At that very moment the thick enormous temple curtain which separated God’s part of the temple from the part where people were allowed to enter was torn from top to bottom. It is worth wondering if there was a significance in that!
Prayer: This is a time for me, my God, to think seriously of what this all means to me and for me.