Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
Reflection from Elizabeth Bell:
This particular verse is probably one of the most painful expressions that we see of Jesus. As Jesus declares in a loud voice that God has forsaken him, we see the human frailty of Jesus. We see this man in his most vulnerable state.
This particular verse is a repeat from Psalm 22. As we know the Psalms offer comfort and a place to lament or express anger, yet to also recognize that God is always present - whether we are at our best or our absolute worst.
All during the season of Lent, we witness the wonders and signs of Jesus as the Son of God, but we must never forget that the importance of taking on the sins of the world has greater meaning when we remember the humanity of Jesus.
So many times, people rail at God, believing that God lets bad things happen to good people. This is simply not true. God sent his only Son to the cross so that we might have everlasting life. God continues to be present - even when we lose faith or can't seem to find hope. This particular verse reminds us that although we may lose sight of God, He never loses sight of us. His love for us is constant. His presence in our lives is eternal. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God - even if we get mad at God or challenge him as Jesus does in this verse. God demonstrated his amazing love for us by sending his fully human, fully divine Son to the cross. As he hung on the cross, his flesh pierced and bleeding, his body broken, God was present. The words of the Psalmist tell us this:
"Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help." (Psalm 22:9-11)
God has not forsaken Jesus, but has fulfilled the prophesy spoken through God's prophets.
Almighty God, when we cry out to you--in pain or in celebration- -we know you are with us.
Care for us in our fragile, human state. We offer our lives to you so that we might be a witness to the world of Your love. May we always remember that you are our God, who loves us enough to offer the ultimate sacrifice of your beloved son, Jesus Christ, so that we might live. Amen.