When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
Matthew 27: 47 – 49
Jesus was dying, experiencing the pain of human death together with the experience of being separated from God, and he cried out to God. Here we see that some of the people around him, watching his suffering, still thought that God might send a prophet to save him at the very last minute. They had mocked him, but they also knew that this was not a normal person on the cross and part of them hoped for a last-minute miracle, for proof of their hopes that he might have been the Messiah come to save. It didn’t even occur to them that they might be saved in and through Jesus’ death, because the Jewish faith said that anyone who died on a tree was cursed, and the Roman Empire saw crucifixion as a humiliating death for slaves. Understanding would come much later.
Prayer: Lord, there are many things in life which are impossible to understand at the time. When events don’t work out as we hope, we assume that they have gone wrong. Help me to see your way and your will, help me to heal and to learn in the difficulties and tragedies of life, when everything seems to have gone utterly wrong. You show in your death that your will for our good is so much greater than the worst evil that the world can offer. Amen
Action: Because we life in a sinful and damaged world, we all have griefs and tragedies in our lives. If you can, talk to someone close to you about one of them, or write about it. How did it change you and what might God teach you in it?