Friday, March 30, 2018

Toward hope

Amy Becker provides an explanation of Jesus' words on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is an explanation I find very satisfying:
...[W]hen Jesus cries out using the initial line of Psalm 22, he is referring his listeners to the entirety of the Psalm. The Psalm begins with a description of a man on display for his physical suffering, mocked by those around him, and this section concludes with the words:
Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me;

They pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
.... But the Psalm does not end with this desolate portrait.

From here, it becomes a plea to God for rescue, and then a declaration of what God will do:
The poor will eat and be satisfied...
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
 declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
.... It is a cry that many of us have offered in the midst of our own moments of desolation, a reminder that God himself experienced suffering and sorrow. And in these desolate times, may we remember that Jesus' cry of desolation points us back to the God who does not forget us, the God who rescues and redeems and always, always, points us toward hope. The crucified God who always anticipates resurrection. .... [more]

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