Mark 15:33-39 (NIVUK)
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 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?’).
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he’s calling Elijah.’
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’
What is it about this event that convinces the centurion that Jesus is the Son of God? Is it the darkness? Or is it Jesus’ expression of loneliness and God forsakenness? Is it his experience of pain? The fact he dies? There’s something about the way he dies that persuades him. This is astonishing, no other faith has God dying in such agony and humility, it’s a paradox, it doesn’t make sense. But somehow, this humiliation and suffering defines who God is. He is not who we thought he was, glory is not what we thought it was, power is not what we thought it was.
What does it mean that God should die for us, for me?