Both Matthew and Mark recorded these words cried out by Jesus on the cross. These same words occur interestingly enough in the opening verse of the Twenty Second Psalm. Yet neither Matthew nor Mark referred to them as a fulfilment of prophecy and after six hours of agony in body and soul on the cross, this cry escapes from our Saviours lips.
There were not many words spoken by Jesus while he was on the cross. The words He did say are recorded specifically.
His first words were “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”—-a prayer for pardon.
His second proclamation made was a promise of peace.
“Today you shall be with me in Paradise’
His third decree was one of kindness to and for his mother.
“Woman behold thy son….Son behold thy mother.”
When the darkness had fallen, three last announcements where uttered. They followed in rapid succession.
“It is finished”
“Father into thy hands I commend my spirit”–
Then, there was this cry of sorrow.
“My God, my God, why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
There is something of extraordinary power and feeling in these words of Jesus on the Cross. This is obvious from the fact that both Matthew and Mark have diligently given the words in the language our Lord used.
“Eli Eli, lama Sa-bach-thani”
Nowhere else in Scripture do we find recurrence of these words except in the Twenty Second Psalm. When Jesus cried these words, he was expressing suffering that was never at any other time felt in this world and I believe, never will again.
To the historian, to the poet or to the theologian, the description and the language of these words in Psalms 22 might suggest it could have been either history or prophecy. However, the context of Psalm 22 is not clear either way.
Matthew and Mark may not have recognised the connection. However, Jesus, a learned scholar of the Scriptures from a very young age, would have known the Psalms well. He said many times through out His ministry “it is written”.
To the believer, nevertheless, this cry is a revelation of the deep suffering and anguishes our Saviour bore, and a proof of His infinite love for sinners.
It challenges us, with all the saints, to be strong to understand what is:
“..the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God”…
Ephesians 3 verses 18 & 19 KJV
If the cross is the fundamental Truth of the New Testament, this cry is the heart of this truth and its inmost expression. This is the Holy of Holys to the reverent reader of the story of the passion.
© Chrissy Siggee