When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God's Son!” Mark 15:33-39
There are days when each of us can feel abandoned by God, overwhelmed by pain, full of shame and ridiculed by others. I was talking with a friend the other day who had been burned by people he trusted, blindsided by their brutish behavior and devastated by their abuse of power. Their selfish cruelty had nearly destroyed his always loving and hopeful demeanor. What humans do to other humans is horrible, plain and simple, and it happens in every walk of life and most often to the faithful and kind people. To be human is to occasionally feel hung out for abuse, abandoned by God and torn asunder by those who should be friends.
Jesus hung to die, in agony and excruciating pain. He cries out, his humanity bellowing the heartache we all know. Jesus carries our bruised and broken humanity to the cross, bearing the worst others can dish out, all for the sake of the world and each of us. When we are overcome with deep, bone-rattling hurt, we are reminded that Jesus is there with us, crying out on our behalf when our words are spent. We are not abandoned or alone. God is with us even when it feels the whole world has turned on us.
Today I ask God to help me not live in fear and be strong in the face of those who would hurt me. May we all remember that we go to the darkest places with the company of the Lord of light, the Savoir of the world. May we not fear what is said and done, but go with confidence to the coming days of resurrection and restoration.