Day 69 (Loving Paul)

[reaction OYB’s July 27-29 readings]

Psalm 22 is in today’s readings. Notice Psalm 22:1,18, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? . . . They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” Now recall Mark 15: 24, 34, “And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. . . . 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?’).” Interesting, yes?

My main response to today’s readings is that it includes the bits of Paul’s letter to Romans with which I am more enamored. I’ll cite some from Romans 12. For example verse 2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Paul also instructs us to be humble, Rom. 12:3, to recognize the gifts each of us has, Rom. 12:4-8, to be loving and kind even to your enemies:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


2 replies on “Day 69 (Loving Paul)”

means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?')." Interesting, yes?

I guess, but frankly I've never understood this passage. It may, in fact, be the single line which argues most convincingly that Jesus' crucifixion was a real, historical event. No matter how devout a rabbi, you can imagine a man getting to the end of his endurance and calling out something antithetical to who he really was in life.

You have a much harder time imagining the people of the time who revered him preserving that in the record if it weren't true on some level.


I think this passage is precious to many Christians, including yours truly, because it so epitomizes the humanity of Jesus. Now, where you take it from there is varied. For some it confirms that Jesus suffered as was necessary to be a sacrifice sufficient to attone for the sins of the world. For others it drives home the consequences Jesus was willing to withstand for the sake of his ministry. I image for those who reject the trinity it serves as strong evidence the Jesus was not God. And, having read your post, I know that for some it suggestion such a peculiar departure from the character Jesus created in the Gospels that it supports the idea that there was in fact a man on whom these stories were based.

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