Friday, April 13, 2007

a Good Friday writing a week late

'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'-Mark 15:34

What do you think is the meaning of these words that Jesus cried from the cross as he died? For me, I believe a part of it is that Jesus felt the pain and loneliness as he suffered and died. This was especially the case as he bore all of our sin and felt the separation from his Father, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:22-'God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.' However, I do not close here with the full meaning of his powerful statement from the cross. This was more about Jesus fulfilling the prophecy written in Psalm 22 and even more so declaring the message of it. Following will be some verses from this Psalm.
Jesus was identifying himself with this message more than feeling that his Father had abandoned him.
Psalm 22:1-8, 13-19, 22-31-My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
"He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him—may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for he has done it.

Tell me this prophecy and the fulfillment of it was a coincidence. The thing that is really interesting is that Jesus didn't need to say all the words of this Psalm to help the people to recall it. The Hebrew culture was an oral culture and he could say a phrase and automatically, all the words of this Psalm would be this is what Jesus meant when he said the words, why have you forsaken me. He was identifying himself as one the one that suffered and notice how detailed the description of the suffering was. More than that, though, he was proclaiming God's ultimate victory through it all.


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