It is Finished

Mark 15:33At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Sone of God!”

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?  The question disturbed me for years, until more recently when I heard a different take on it.

The question is the beginning of a quote of Psalm 22. Jews in that time could quote whole passages of the Old Testament; chances are some could quote this as well. I’m not sure how many would have understood what he was saying, not because of the language the question was spoken in, but because of the noise around the area, the emotional distress anyone standing there must have felt, and the strong possibility that Jesus was not speaking clearly or loudly at that point. Still, someone caught the question and recorded it, even as they noted that others didn’t know what he was saying.

1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
3Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
4In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8“He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
9Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.
10From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14I 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.

15My 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.
16Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
19But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24For 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.
25From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
26The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.
29All 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.
30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for he has done it.

Did Jesus feel forsaken? Possibly. Yet just as we might refer to a portion of a very well known verse or passage and others might fill in the rest in their minds (ie “for God so loved…” “Our Father, who art in Heaven…” “The Lord is my shepherd”), so someone who happened to hear the question that day might have remembered the Psalm and realized that Jesus was saying something, more than asking something. Look at the entire passage. It’s a Psalm of prophecy:

scorned by men and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8“He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
14I 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.
15My 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.
16Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
19But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

It’s interesting to me that the last Psalm on Jesus’ mind as he was on the cross ends with the words:

23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24For 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…
30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for he has done it.

And then He cried “It is finished”.

 

Barnes notes:  That he hath done this – That God has done or accomplished what is stated in this psalm; that is, on the supposition that it refers to the Messiah, that he has caused an atonement to be made for mankind, or that redemption has been provided through the sufferings of the Messiah.

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About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? http://wp.me/p1CY5z-1R Baptism! http://wp.me/s1CY5z-baptism

Posted on April 7, 2012, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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