Mark 15:34 – My God, My God
It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. (Mark 15:25)
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. (Mark 15:33)
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”, which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. (Mark 15:37)
Jesus was crucified at the third hour of the day, the moment at which the daily morning sacrifice was made in the temple.
Three hours later God brought a deep darkness over the earth, which lasted for three hours.
This was not an eclipse of the sun. A full eclipse of the sun lasts for a maximum of 7 min. 31 sec.
This sudden total darkness must have surprised the people around the cross.
In this total darkness, they probably did not even see the cross anymore, and they probably became silent. So things became calm around Jesus - a loving protection from the Father for His Son, Jesus.
At the end of the three hours of darkness, at the ninth hour, the moment at which the evening sacrifice was being made in the temple:
… Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Jesus always said “My Father” when He spoke to God.
Just before He died, when He called out in Aramaic: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?, He was not talking to His Father, but to the people standing round the cross, and quoting from Psalm 22 as He did so:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? … (Psalm 22:1)
The Pharisees who were looking on at Golgotha - and who studied the Bible books of the Old Testament daily and knew large sections of them by heart – must have been able to add all the rest of Psalm 22.
By quoting from Psalm 22 just before He died, it is very likely that Jesus was making a last attempt to make it clear to the spiritual leaders of the people that He is the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies.
They were unable to understand this, however, because they were darkened in their understanding.
Nevertheless, 1,000 years earlier, in Psalm 22, king David described exactly what was happening at Golgotha:
verse 6 - But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
verse 7 - All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
verse 8 - He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.
verse 14 - I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
verse 15 - My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
verse 16 - Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
verse 17 - All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.
verse 18 - They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
At that time the spectators saw a few quotations from this Psalm happening before their very eyes. Other verses describe the physical state of a crucified person exactly.
In the study about the worm in verse 6 it is explained how God has laid a symbol in creation in this worm, in which Jesus’ redemptive death is illustrated - precisely what took place on the cross at Golgotha.
Print this study as a PDF document:
Mark 15:34 - My God, My God.