Saturday, November 27, 2010

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

These words of Jesus Christ when He was dying on the cross, "Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani" or "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" have been taken as the occasion of many blasphemies against God.  Some have argued that Jesus said this because he was nothing more than a corruptible creature, forsaken by God and a failure; Not only is this argument blasphemous and heretical, but it is demonstrably false.

It was a custom for people at the time of Christ's crucifixion to reference songs by quoting their first lines; this phrase spoken by Christ is the opening line of the twenty-first Psalm, which written centuries before the Word of God assumed a human nature, was a clear foreshadowing of His suffering and death for the remission of sins, the conversion of the Gentiles and the life of the world to come.

It was no coincidence that Jesus Christ made this reference to the Psalm, as He and His Apostles did to many other Old Testament books, and then before dying stated "It is finished".  What did Jesus want the witnesses of His death to know was finished?  Read the Psalm and find out:


"Unto the end, for the morning protection, a psalm for David.  O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me (Matthew 27:46) Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.  O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me. But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.  In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and thou hast delivered them.

"They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.  But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.  All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.  He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him (St. Matthew 26:43).  For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother. 

"I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother's womb thou art my God,  Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.  Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.  They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.  I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered. My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.

"My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws: and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.  For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me. They have dug my hands and feet.  They have numbered all my bones.  And they have looked and stared upon me (St. John 19:36-37).  They parted my garments amongst them; and upon my vesture they cast lots (St. Matthew 27:35). But thou, O Lord, remove not thy help to a distance from me; look towards my defence.

"Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the Church will I praise thee.  Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him.  Let all the seed of Israel fear him: because he hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man. Neither hath he turned away his face from me: and when I cried to him he heard me.

"With thee is my praise in a great Church: I will pay my vows in the sight of them that fear him.  The poor shall eat and shall be filled: and they shall praise the Lord that seek him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.  All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord: And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he shall have dominion over the nations.  All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored: all they that go down to the earth shall fall before him.

"And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him. There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made."

Hence Jesus Christ, by saying "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," was not actually declaring that God had forsaken Him, but rather firmly and finally establishing His unique claim to be the one and only Messias and Redeemer, who the prophets of old had always known would be both God and man.

Micheas 7:7: "But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour: my God will hear me."

Daniel 9:26: "Christ shall be slain"

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