Sunday, September 28, 2008

Understanding Jesus - "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me"

There are just some things in Scripture that is just hard to understand. Matthew 27:46 has been one of those verses:

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?

I remember someone teaching me that since this was the time that Jesus was taking on all of the sins of the world, God could not be present, because God cannot look upon sin. For years, this is what I accepted as the correct interpretation of this verse. It makes sense right? Well, not so much anymore.

If this is really the case, what does that tell us about God when I am sinning? Does that mean that He is not present? I thought that God was omnipresent. Are we now saying that He is only present where there is no sin? Of course this is not the case. So what is the correct interpretation of this Scripture? In order to understand the correct interpretation of this scripture, you must understand more about Jewish culture.

Jews were as fanatic about Scripture as some of my friends and family are fanatic about college and professional sports. I have friends and family that are able to tell me all of the players on their favorite sports team as well as where they graduated from high school and/or college. As much as they love sports, the Jewish culture loved Holy Scripture.

They loved it so much that they would often commit entire books to memory. It was common for a Jew to commit all of the chapters of Psalm to memory. That is right, every 150 Chapters. Hmmmm....150. Why does that number ring a bell? :)

So if God was still present, did Jesus lose his faith in the midst of being on the cross, which is evident in what he said about God forsaken Him? Of course not. First of all, Jesus didn't have faith in God. He had knowledge of God - there is a very big difference.

Jesus was a Jew being crucified amongst His fellow Jews. When he cried out this statement, he was actually quoting from Psalm 22. He was calling attention to this chapter in Psalm, the same way that I would be calling attention to another document if I just said "Forescore and seven years ago...". The crowd in the audience would have known exactly what Jesus was saying to them. Have you ever read Psalm 22? If not, please take a few moments to read it now.

I know, right. Talk about chills....

Thank you Jesus for the perfect work that you did on the Cross. On you I completely rely on for my salvation. I will honor you and serve you for the rest of my days.

Peace be with you all...

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