‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’

Today we hear the story of Jesus’ suffering and death; a story of one betrayal after another. Judas sits at the table at the Last Supper, knowing that he has already promised to hand Jesus over for money. Peter, James and John can’t stay awake while Jesus, desperately afraid, is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. All of the disciples run away when he is arrested. Peter denies three times that he even knows his friend. The chief priests bring false evidence against him. Pilate knows that Jesus is innocent, but has him crucified out of fear of the crowd. In the end, Jesus feels that even his Father has abandoned him, as he cries out in the words of the Psalm: ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ He is absolutely alone. God is silent.

God was silent but not absent. On Easter Sunday, the Father raised Jesus up. The last word was not death, but life; not condemnation, but glory. 

Jesus is still being crucified today. Whenever people are betrayed, bullied, falsely accused or tortured, he suffers with them. And God promises to raise up all those who suffer. God will have the last word and the last word is life.

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