This week, as we anticipate resurrection morning, I want us to take a look at the seven last words that Jesus proclaimed while dying on the cross.
#1--"'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God,
why have you forsaken Me?'" (Matthew 27:46).
This is a direct quote of the first verse in Psalm 22 and is often
thought to be a cry of despair because of the separation that sin
has created between Jesus and God the Father. It is certainly a cry
that most of us have experienced as we have questioned the presence
of God as we have endured our pain. We have likely joined the
Psalmist--David, in crying out, "O my God, I cry by day, but
You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest." (Psalm
22:2) We have all felt the sting of breaking hearts and
sleepless nights. But have we understood the purpose of our anguish
in the way that Jesus did?
Psalm 22 is a great prophetic description of the death of Jesus the
Messiah. Read Psalm 22:14-18 and you will see amazing factual
detail contained in the death of Jesus. Remember, these astounding
verses were written about a thousand years before Jesus died on the
cross. "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out
of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My
strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to
my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have
surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they
pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They
look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and
for my clothing they cast lots."
Jesus points us to Psalm 22 because He wants us to know that there
is purpose in his death. He wants us to know that God has purpose
in the darkness of the cross. It's not an accident and Jesus is no
victim! With His death, Jesus fulfills Psalm 22 perfectly--all of
Jesus fulfills Psalm 22:24, "For He has not despised nor
abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His
face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard."
Because of Jesus death, God doesn't despise us or hide from us!
Rather, He hears our cries for help! We may feel forsaken--but we
Jesus fulfills Psalm 22:26, "The afflicted will eat and be
satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord."
Jesus' death provides nourishment, fulfillment, and the resulting
praise of God! We may feel forsaken--but we are not!
Jesus fulfills Psalm 22:27, "All the ends of the earth will
remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the
nations will worship before You." Jesus' death on the
cross made it possible for all humanity to turn to the Lord. Yes,
we may at times feel forsaken, but we are not!
Jesus died on the cross to move us from the despair of Psalm 22:1 to
the glory of Psalm 22:31, "They will come and will declare His
righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has
performed it." Jesus accomplished our righteousness
through His death on the cross! He performed it! That's the Good
News of the cross! We may feel forsaken--but we are mistaken!