Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Christ crucified, says the apostle Paul, is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23–24). This is the very foundation of the Christian faith. “Christ died:” that is history. “For our sins:” that is doctrinal truth (1 Corinthians 15:3)—the great fact upon which our salvation rests. It is all-important to see that it was not simply the physical sufferings of Jesus that atoned for sin. It was what He endured in His inmost being in those hours of darkness when He was made sin for us. What He suffered at the hand of man was an expression of Satanic malignancy and showed the sinfulness of mankind as nothing else could. What He endured at the hand of God made atonement for iniquity and told out divine love and justice in the fullest possible manner. In the work of the cross the sin question has been dealt with so completely and so satisfactorily that the floodgates of mercy have been opened wide and all who now believe the gospel may be saved eternally.
His be the Victor’s name,
Who fought the fight alone:
Triumphant saints no honor claim,
His conquest was their own.
By weakness and defeat
He won the meed and crown,
Trod all our foes beneath His feet
By being trodden down.
Bless, bless the Conqueror slain,
Slain in His victory;
Who lived, who died, who lives again—
For thee, His Church, for thee!
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 175.