Since Easter is fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about the crucifixion. While Christ was on the cross, the Bible records 7 things that He said:
- “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:42)
- “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
- “Woman, behold, your son!”; “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27)
- “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34)
- “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
- “It is finished” (John 19:30)
- “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)
Each of these statements were highly meaningful in one way or another. I want to look at one in particular. Number 4 from the list.
I was always taught that the reason Christ would ask God why He had been forsaken was because God is not able to look at sin, and since Christ had the sins of every man imputed to Him, therefore, God turned away from Jesus. Habakkuk 1:13 says: “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong”. I had never really considered it before, but to say that God could not look at Jesus because He represented the sin of all mankind is ludicrous. Sin is not God’s kryptonite! We cannot ward off God by sinning. The NAS translation of Hab. 1:13 says “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil” and the NLT renders the words “see” and “look” as “allow”. I think it is safe to say that God could not tolerate, allow, or approve of the sin represented in Christ. That is why He was being put to death, so He could redeem us from the punishment we deserve.
A good friend of mine and I were having a discussion concerning many different Biblical matters. He pointed out to me that Psalm 22 is a chilling account of the crucifixion, and it was written approximately 1000 years earlier!
Here are some prophetic verses from that Psalm:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (v. 1)
“All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; ‘He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!’” (vv. 7–8)
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet – I can count all my bones – they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (vv. 14–18)
The Jews that came out to watch the crucifixion were well versed on all the scriptures. Surely, when Christ uttered the phrase “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” Psalm 22 came to their minds. Christ was dying, and all these prophecies were being fulfilled right in front of everyone. He simply reminded them that this ancient scripture, which had been accepted as a prophecy of the Messiah, was unfolding before them. By uttering this phrase, Jesus was further confirming His claim of being the Messiah!
Instead of looking grimly at this phrase, and saying, “Poor Jesus, even His Father looked away and was not with Him,” simply realize that even while hanging on the cross, He was linking the Holy Scriptures to Himself so that we can believe. The Bible is all the proof we need that Jesus Christ is indeed the savior we need.
Please submit any comments concerning this.