At noon [when Jesus was being crucified], darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said, "Wait! Let's see whether Elijah comes to save him."
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.
— Matthew 27:45-50 NLT
"Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit."
Sounds so routine:
"Jesus Executed at Golgotha!"
"Convicted Blasphemer Crucified."
"Jesus Dies on a Cross."
These statements don't even make good headlines. But underneath the headline is a powerful message: Jesus would rather die for us than live without us.
This understanding is powerful when we realize he had the power to prevent his death. It is convicting when we reawaken to the reality that it was our sin that made it necessary for him to die. Even more powerful, Jesus died alone except for a few women and the beloved disciple who watched from a distance. Part of the Lord's pain, no doubt, was knowing that his mother was witnessing what was happening to him (John 19:25-27). Jesus died knowing his closest disciples had betrayed him, denied him, and forsaken him. No wonder he shouted out. He died so we would never have to face humiliation, agony, abandonment, betrayal, or death alone.
Almighty God and tender Father, despite my deepest reverential appreciation, I can find no words that adequately communicate my heart-felt gratitude and appreciation for the debt that Jesus paid and the gift that you have given me in him through your grace. Please empower me to live each day as a demonstration of my appreciation for your love. In the precious and mighty name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.