Thursday, April 10, 2014
Crocuses showing off in a friend's yard on this sunny 60 degree day. I tried to get a shot without the shadow of a bush on the left and couldn't. Now that I see it enlarged, I'm pleased. I see Good Friday and Easter.
Sitting out in the sun I prayed this afternoon about the Crucifixion (Matthew 27:32-56.) In the whole scene what jumps out at me, and I suppose at a lot of people, is the cry, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!" Matthew's community would have recognized this as the first line of Psalm 22 and know it had a happy ending. Good Friday into Easter.
In the last third with profound confidence the psalmist prays:
"The Lord never scorns the afflicted,
never looks away, but hears their cry....
My soul lives for the Lord!
My children will serve,
will proclaim God to the future,
announcing to peoples yet unborn,
Since there were no books in the time of Jesus, he and his fellow Jews would have memorized large portions of their Scriptures. I would not be surprised if he knew all the psalms by heart. Matthew's community was made up largely of Jews who were convinced, now that the Temple was destroyed, that the way of Jesus was the best way to be true to their Jewish heritage. So Matthew goes to great lengths throughout his Gospel to show Jesus fulfilling the Jewish Scriptures.