Friday, July 22, 2016

From the Cross

It is impossible to read the opening words of the 22nd Psalm without remembering that these words were spoken from the cross by Jesus.  "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"  (Mt. 27:46)  It was not a mumbled word, but one, according to Matthew, which was shouted out with a loud voice.  Religious tradition around the cross has made these words one of the seven last words Jesus spoke from the cross.  Jesus was dying.  The end was pressing hard upon Him.  But, it was not the death which caused Jesus to sense separation from the Father, but the weight of my sin and your sin, the weight of the sin of the world, upon Him which caused such despair and agony in His soul. 
As we find ourselves caught up in those moments of hearing Him quote these opening words of the 22nd Psalm, we cannot help but wonder if he silently remembered the rest of those words and spoke them in His heart.  Surely, there are other parts of that Psalm which have powerful meaning for the moment of crucifixion.  Verses 14-18 are some of those verses which take us to the cross centuries before it was raised on Calvary.  We do know that Jesus was well acquainted with the inspired sacred
Word of the Hebrew tradition which included the Psalms.  He made reference to those teachings and called them to mind many times as He was teaching.
What Jesus did in that hour of darkness is not an uncommon thing for any person who walks this life and is overcome by its darkness.  When we have no place to go, we turn to the Sacred Pages.  When there is no voice but the voice of hopelessness, we listen and pray to hear the living Word speak to us.  When we need to find our way forward, we look for the Word to guide us.  When we find ourselves unable to move, we do what Jesus did, we remember the Word, we repeat the Word, and we let the Word do its mysterious work in our broken and waiting hearts. 

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