Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

I just finished a book by a notable Bible scholar who at one point discussed the difficulty of Jesus' words on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

He gave a long and scholarly answer, basically saying that Jesus' words were a quote from the opening line of Psalm 22 and that they reflect the depth of his passion.

Well, yeah, that's true and okay as far as it goes, but it should go a lot farther.

To me, it seems the question is, Did Jesus' cry mean that he didn't understand what was happening to him?

And the answer is a very straightforward no; it doesn't mean that at all. In fact, it shows that he understood very clearly what was happening to him.

I'm quite sure that Jesus - who in these last moments of his life was probably incapable of giving a lengthy sermon, but even then yearned to reach out to people - quoted the first verse of Psalm 22 as a way of saying: Psalm 22 is all about me and I am fulfilling it in your sight. Go back and read the whole thing and you will understand.

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