Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
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!”
—Mark 15:6-15, 25-26, 33-39
by: Joy Choquette.
Forsaken. That sums up these passages well, doesn’t it? When you see that word, what images spring to mind? Desolation? Darkness? A single, solitary figure on a lonely plain? Jesus was forsaken—not only by His friends and followers—but by God: His holy Father, the life-giver, the great I AM. Because of the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made, we will never undergo the same heart-breaking experience ourselves. He took it all—our pain, our sins, our punishment—as His own. Today, we can be grateful to serve a God that loves us so much that He gave up everything for our sake.