“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”…
Jesus cries out to the Father from the cross:
At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” -Mark 15:33-34, NAB
In His last moments on the cross, Christ cries out in Aramaic, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Was He truly asking this question, or was He saying something more? He was, in fact, quoting Psalm 22:2. Psalm 22 describes a faithful servant of God who is punished for it. Jesus, by proclaiming these words loudly, is telling those around Him that He is fulfilling that Scripture.
Most of Psalm 22 describes someone who is a devout follower of God and persecuted for it. At the end of Psalm 22, the tone changes, however, and it speaks of God’s deliverance:
For God has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch, Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out. -Psalm 22:25, NAB
Christ knows that the Father has not left Him. He knows that the Father has heard His cry and will deliver Him at His Resurrection. His message to His disciples, then, is not one of despair – but one of hope.
On the surface, we may see Christ struggling in agony on the cross, which is true. Obviously, this was a painful, torturous death. Jesus was fully man and was not spared from a single ounce of this pain. Yet, He continued to have hope. He continued to put His faith and trust in the Father.
Psalm 22 ends with this:
The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought. -Psalm 22:32, NAB
This, my friends, is the real message here. Yes, Jesus was crying out in agony. Yes, He was struggling like any man would in this situation. But He was also foreshadowing that we would one day proclaim God’s deliverance. We, as Christians, recognize that Christ came to free us from our sins through His death on the cross. By quoting Psalm 22, Jesus acknowledges a greater purpose for His death. Let us continue to proclaim to future generations Jesus’ victory over death.