Small Voice Calling > The Call > Moved to Tears > Effect
The Song: Effect
Was he supposed to bear it
Like a man or like a God
Would tears show a weakness
Or a strength by their effect
Would they be viewed as compassion
Or failure and self-pity
And that’s why Jesus wept
The Bible: The last words of Jesus on the cross
Sometimes a phrase is all it takes.
If you say you watched ‘The Last Night of the Proms’, I will immediately hear ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Jerusalem’. You won’t need to hum them for me.
If you know your Bible, a mention of ‘The 23rd Psalm’ will probably get you singing:
The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
You might even skip to the last verse:
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me
And in God’s house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
Jesus knew his scriptures. As did his friends who watched him die, and the Temple elite who were there to make sure of it. So when Jesus called out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, they would have recognised the opening of Psalm 22, and made the connexion with what was happening right in front of them:
‘All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads’ (Psalm 22 Verse 7)
‘They pierce my hands and my feet’ (v16)
‘They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment’ (v18).
And, seeing these prophecies being fulfilled, they would have been reminded that the psalm continues…
‘He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help’ (v24)
… and ends:
‘Future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!’ (vv30-31).
“My God, my God…” might have sounded like a cry of despair to some of the bystanders, but to those who knew their scriptures it was a shout of triumph:
“It’s finished! I’ve done it!”
Done what, exactly?
Finished the job he was sent to do.
Looks like it’s him who’s finished
That’s what his enemies thought.
They’re in for a shock come Sunday.