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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 8 - Christ's Passion and Death (Mark 14:1 - 15:47)

17. The Father’s Separation From the Son (Mark 15:33-36)

MARK 15:33-36
33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.”

The sixth hour mentioned by Mark corresponds with our twelve o’clock at noon. At that hour of the sun’s brightest light, fearful darkness came over the whole land, and a sandstorm blew on the mountains of Jerusalem. The hot, dry wind, which lasted for three hours, sucked out the last moisture of the body.

Some interpreters say that this darkness caused when evil spirits with all their powers swooped down on the Lamb of God in his wounded state to lead him into sin.

However, Jesus was filled with the word of God. He is rather the incarnate word of God, and therefore, even while dying he spoke holy words. The Holy Spirit acted for him with groanings which could not be uttered.

At nine o’clock, that is three o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus cried out with a loud voice. His words on the cross explain to us in depth the mystery of the cross. The Holy Spirit testified through the outcry of the Crucified, that the Holy God had left his Son, hiding his face from him, and appearing to him as a God who judges. The wrath of God fell on the forsaken Son. The hour of darkness came, but it found no power over the Holy One. The Son drank the cup of the wrath of God to the dregs.

The apostles did not dare to write this fearful, profound word directly in Hebrew and Greek, because of its horrible meaning, until they recorded it literally in Aramaic and thereafter wrote its meaning in Greek.

In the past, Jesus said: “I and my Father are one”. Now, he testifies that the unity of love is broken and the everlasting unity is separated. This is why he cried out: “Why have you abandoned me? That is impossible! You are love, and you cannot leave me alone.”

This outcry from the mouth of the Crucified, which is stated by the evangelists Matthew and Mark, as the only word from Jesus’ mouth on the cross, is in fact a confusing stumbling block to the godly and unbelievers who did not know the meaning of Jesus’ cross. They think that Jesus the carpenter cried out in despair, condemned by the wrath of God.

Yet we find in this word a proof of faith in God, and a continuous love for those who are going astray. He had sacrificed his relationship and unity with the Father to save us who are far away from the Holy One.

No one was worthy to die for us as the Lamb of God, except God himself in a human body. He was innocent, worthy, and able to carry away the sin of the world, and to bear all the judgment. Because God is one and not two, it appears that God appeared as the Holy Trinity for our redemption, revealing himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that the Son, through the Eternal Spirit, might offer himself without spot to God, and cleanse our consciences from dead works, that we might serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

He who recognizes this mystery through the anointment of the Holy Spirit worships the Father and the Son, and dedicates his life, which is purified with the blood of the Lamb, to the service of God. We have only two choices: either to mock the Crucified, or to serve him thankfully for his everlasting love.

The Roman soldiers and guards did not understand the words of the Crucified in Aramaic. They thought that he who was dying called out to Elijah the prophet, and they feared he might appear out of the darkness to help the Crucified to come down from the cross. They stopped the merciful among them who had compassion for him and in the midst if the sandstorm wanted to offer the thirsty One a sponge wet with water and vinegar. So their belief in the appearance of the ghosts of the dead prevented them from offering a humane service.

PRAYER: We worship you our Father, for your heart was broken when you left your only Son in whom you, eternal love, were well pleased. We thank you through your Son because you forgave our sins, outpouring wrath against our sins on your holy Son, in our place. You left him that he might not leave us. You separated yourself from him that we may abide in you forever. We worship you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and commit ourselves to you, for everlasting service through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


  1. What is the meaning of the words of the Crucified: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”


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