Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Forsaken by the Father?

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 - ESV)

This unusual cry is one of seven final sayings of Jesus on the cross.

Seven sayings from the cross
1. “Father, forgive them” Luke 23:34
2. “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” Luke 23:43
3. “Woman, behold your son” John 19:26
4. “My God, My God” Matt. 27:46
5. “I thirst” John 19:28
6. “It is finished” John 19:30
7. “Father, into Your hands” Luke 23:46[1]

MacArthur's study Bible tells us “this cry is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1, one of many striking parallels between that psalm and the specific events of the crucifixion … Christ at that moment was experiencing the abandonment and despair that resulted from the outpouring of divine wrath on Him as sin-bearer.”

MacArthur explains how Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemene, said “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39 – ESV)” Of this “cup” MacArthur notes, “A cup is often the symbol of divine wrath against sin in the OT (Is. 51:17, 22; Jer. 25:15–17, 27–29; Lam. 4:21, 22; Ezek. 23:31–34; Hab. 2:16). The next day Christ would “bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28)—and the fullness of divine wrath would fall on Him (Is. 53:10, 11; 2 Cor. 5:21). This was the price of the sin He bore, and He paid it in full. His cry of anguish in 27:46 reflects the extreme bitterness of the cup of wrath He was given.”

I have been wanting to do a post on this since the end of March, but the Lord has hindered me from it until now. God’s timing is always perfect, however, and since I waited I can now include this great by Chris Anderson (My Two Cents).

Forsaken ... Finished ... Father

I praise the Lord for Anderson's wrestling with this idea of what it meant for Christ to be “forsaken” by the Father. And I'm delighted I didn't get a chance to post this until today!

Much more has been written on this topic, of course. I had at least a couple of other quotes lined up from other commentators. I welcome other comments/quotes that readers would add on this great verse in Scripture!

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