That was more than His holy soul could bear!
(J. C. Philpot, "The Love of Christ in Giving Himself for the Church")
Thousands have died in greater bodily agony than the
Lord, for He only suffered in body for six hours. But of
all the generations of men, none have ever felt what
the Lord endured in his soul; for He had to suffer in His
soul what the elect would have had to suffer in hell, if
He had not suffered it for them.
What is the body? That is not the chief seat of suffering.
Martyrs have rejoiced in the flames. It is the soul that feels.
It was so with Jesus. His body, it is true, was racked and
torn; but it was the racking of His soul in which lay His
chief agonies. And the greatest of all was the final stroke
God reserved to His last moments--the last drop of the
cup in all its bitterness--which was hiding His face from
His Son. Nothing else but this last bitter drop extorted
the cry of suffering from His lips!
But when, to crown all the scene of suffering, the Father
hid His face from Him--that was more than His holy soul
could bear! That extorted from Him the dolorous cry--such
a cry as earth never before or since heard--a cry which made
the sun to hide its face as if in sackcloth; the solid earth
to shake; and the very graves to open their mouths as if
they could no longer hold their dead!
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Mt. 27:46