Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani

“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Matthew comes nearest the Hebrew, אלי אלי למה עזבתני Eli, Eli, lamah azabthani, in the words, Ηλι, Ηλι, λαμα σαβαχθανι, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.

This language is not pure Hebrew nor Syriac, but a mixture of both, called commonly "Syro-Chaldaic." This was probably the language which the Saviour commonly spoke. The words are taken from Psalm 22:1 - A psalm of David;

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?”

In Psalm 22, David prophetically writes of Jesus’ death, beginning his song with the words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?” The song goes on to prophecy many more details of the conversations, actions, and even emotions that would occur during Jesus’ time on the cross.

 Hundreds of years later, God confirmed David’s prophecy by directing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to report the details of what actually took place during the last moments of Jesus’ crucifixion.

It may be observed also, that the words, ‘Why have You forgotten me?’ are often used by David and others, in times of oppression and distress. See Psalm 42:9;

“I say to God my Rock, Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”

Gill’s Exposition of the verse

That is to say, He calls Him His God, not as He was God, but as he was man; who, as such, was chosen by Him to the grace of union to the Son of God; was made and formed by Him; was anointed by Him with the oil of gladness; was supported and upheld by Him in the day of salvation; was raised by Him from the dead, and highly exalted by Him at His own right hand; and Christ, as man, prayed to Him as His God, believed in Him, loved Him, and obeyed Him as such: and though now He hid His face from Him, yet He expressed strong faith and confidence of His interest in Him. When He is said to be "forsaken" of God; the meaning is not, that the hypostatical union was dissolved, which was not even by death itself; the fullness of the Godhead still dwelt bodily in Him: nor was He separated from the love of God; He had the same interest in his Father's heart and favor, both as his Son, and as mediator, as ever: nor was the principle and habit of joy and comfort lost in His soul, as man, but He was now without a sense of the gracious presence of God, and was filled, as the surety of His people, with a sense of divine wrath, which their iniquities he now bore, deserved, and which was necessary for Him to endure, in order to make full satisfaction for them; for one part of the punishment of sin is loss of the divine presence.

God’s answer to His Son’s question in agony was never heard. But I do know what the answer is from John 3:16;

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

That is to say, He was forsaken by God for Me and for You!

Praise Jesus forever and ever! Amen.

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