"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
At the apex of the sufferings of the Lamb of God for the sins of the world, it was fitting that He should utter this desolate cry at the ninth hour, for this was the time of the regular evening sacrifice, as well as the time of evening prayers among the people of ancient Israel.
It was at this hour that Elijah prayed to God against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, and God answered by fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:36-39). This was also the hour of Ezra’s great prayer of confession and intercession (Ezra 9:5), followed by a wonderful revival among the backslidden people of Israel. When Daniel uttered his own prayer of confession and intercession "about the time of the evening oblation" (Daniel 9:21), God sent the angel Gabriel to answer his prayer. In the New Testament, "Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour" (Acts 3:1), and the result was the first apostolic miracle. The first Gentile convert to Christ was Cornelius, who was praying "about the ninth hour of the day" (Acts 10:3) when he, like Daniel, received a visit from an angel of God to tell him to send for Peter, who would lead him to Christ.
In all recorded instances of prayer at the ninth hour, at the daily evening sacrifice, God answered the prayer in a marvelous way. But when the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, God did not answer, for He had forsaken His own Son.
"Why?" He cried, but He knew, and now we know that it was simply because He "loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). The measure of His love is the cross and separation from the Father, "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9). This is why He died! HMM