“My God, My God! Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”
“My God! My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
The Evangelist adds, that Jesus cried again, with a loud voice.
But why with a loud voice?
To show that He did not die by compulsion but voluntarily. When a person is in his last moments, his speech commonly fails him; but Christ, when He was expiring, spoke with a clear, audible voice, which was a proof, that, though He had suffered so much in His human nature, yet that human nature was, in a supernatural manner supported by His Godhead, and that all the united cruelty of Jews and Gentiles, could not put an end to His life, sooner than He pleased. Having, therefore, with a loud and triumphant voice, commended His blessed soul into His heavenly Father’s hands, He gave up the ghost; or, as it may be literally rendered, “He dismissed or let go His spirit.”
When He knew that He had fulfilled all the prophecies that related to Him, and suffered enough to procure the salvation of His people, He voluntarily retired from life. No sooner was the important scene brought to a period; no sooner were the Redeemer’s eyelids closed, than universal nature seemed to sympathize with her departing Lord, and in a miraculous manner, to reproach the matchless guilt and the unexampled cruelty of His murderers. The first prodigy that immediately followed on His death, was the rending the veil of the temple. The priests, or at least, the major part of them, were attending divine service in the temple, to offer up the evening sacrifice, at the very moment when Christ expired; when the veil, or magnificent curtain, which separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple, was suddenly rent in two.
And as this veil was composed of the richest and strongest tapestry, its rending of itself was the more miraculous, and showed the immediate interposition of divine Providence. This rending of the veil signified, that the Jewish dispensation was now at an end, all the types belonging to it being fulfilled in Christ. It was also a presage of the approaching destruction of the Jews as a nation; and showed likewise, that by the death and sacrifice of Christ, a way was opened for sinners into heaven, of which the holy of holies was an emblem; and that now, there was no difference between Jew and Gentile; Christ having broken down the partition wall, and procured eternal life for all that trust in Him, out of every nation under heaven.
By Augustus M. Toplady