|"Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabacthani "|
Why did Jesus cry out, “My God, My
God, why have you forsaken Me?”
— via Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
In Matthew 27:45-46, it says, “Now from the sixth
hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth
hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out
with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that
is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
If Jesus is God, why would He say this?
First of all, Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 which begins with,
“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”. Jesus
quoted this Psalm in order to draw attention to it and the
fact that He was fulfilling it there on the cross.
Consider verses 11-18 in Psalm 22:
"Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to
help.12 Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of
Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open wide their mouth
at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured
out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My
heart is like wax; It is melted within me. 15 My strength
is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my
jaws; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16 For
dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed
me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can
count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They
divide my garments among them, And for my clothing
they cast lots."
The term ‘dogs’ was used by the Jews to refer to Gentiles
(cf. Matt. 15:21-28). His heart has melted within Him (v.
14). During the crucifixion process, the blood loss causes
the heart to beat harder and harder and become extremely
fatigued. Dehydration occurs (v. 15). Verses 16b-18 speak
of piercing His hands and feet and dividing his clothing by
casting lots. This is exactly what happen as described in
Psalm 22 was written about 600 years before Christ was
born. At that time, crucifixion had not yet been invented.
Actually, the Phoenicians developed it and Rome borrowed
the agonizing means of execution from them. So, when
Rome ruled over Israel, it became the Roman means of
capital punishment imposed upon the Jews whose biblical
means of execution was stoning. Nevertheless, Jesus is
pointing to the scriptures to substantiate His messianic
Vexilla Regis: As the late Frank Sheed pointed out in “To
Know Christ Jesus”, in pronouncing this quotation from the Cross, Jesus was asserting his Messiahship and this fact was not lost on the Jewish High Priest.
It is a pity that our preachers never seem to explain
the truths in these verses.