I won’t forget that wail.
I was a young minister who had just moved to a small town. One afternoon a young man from our church called and told me there had been a terrible accident. A friend of his had been checking the fences around his property. In the back of the truck was his young daughter. Somehow, she fell out of the truck while he was backing up. The unthinkable happened. Not realizing that she had fallen out, he ran over her. She died en route to the hospital.
A few nights later, my friend and I entered the funeral home. I heard the wail of this father weeping over his child.
There is nothing quite like the wail of grief that can erupt from a father for his child or a child for his mother or father.
So now everything is dark. From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness overshadowed the land. And into the darkness, the son of God cries out to his father as he approaches his own death.
“My God, my God, why have you left me?”
Echoing the literature of lament in the Old Testament (such as Psalms, Lamentations and Habakkuk), Jesus cried out to his father asking an honest question. (Notice there is not editorial note in which the editor tells the reader, “Of course, he really shouldn’t have said this to God.”) This was the son of God with an honest cry from the cross.
Jesus’ cry was heard
- By mockers who put wine vinegar on a stick and offered it to him.
- By a centurion who declared “This man was certainly God’s son.”
- By some women who had already cared for his needs and were ready to do what they could, again.
And yes, his cry was heard by his Father. The Temple curtain tore, no doubt a sign from God that this was a momentous event. Yes, God had heard his cry.
Some may have heard his cry, saw his death, and thought this to be the end of the story.
This was anything but the end.
(This post is a reflection on Mark 15:33-39 written for the Lenton Blog Tour. Or you may want to check out the Lenton Blog Tour Facebook Fan page. You can find it here. These reflections are based on the Common English Bible.)