There are many texts which support the idea that upon the cross, near the end of His life, Jesus uttered the words; "For this purpose was I reserved or destined" instead of the King James rendering of; "Why hast thou forsaken me". As startling as this may appear to many, it really should not be considering that before these words, come the Aramaic words; "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani" in Matthew 27:46.
Obviously these are not English words, nor are they Greek or even Hebrew. These words are from the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and all others from his area. The reason they were left in the King James Version was because the translators didn't know what to do with them. Sometime, if you have the opportunity, look at the Lamsa Bible and see how this expert of the Aramaic dialect translated this verse.
Religious tradition has taught for years that God forsook Jesus because he had become sin as noted in 2 Corinthians 5:20, 21. It is very true that He who knew no sin became sin so that we might be declared righteous, but there is no scriptural or logical reason to believe God ran off and forsook Jesus because of what he did. Like many traditional beliefs, if a person really thought this through; what good would come from God forsaking His own Son while He hung on the cross paying the price for man's sin?
I am aware that most believe that Jesus was simply quoting what David had written in Psalms 22:1. Yes, David did utter those words in a moment of utter despair. But, Jesus knew the Father and understood that He was not being cast off and forsaken due to becoming sinful. To me, it makes little sense for Jesus to cry out words which seemed to imply His lack of trust in God's Providence and omnipotence.
If tradition is discarded and the Aramaic is allowed to speak; what Jesus cried minutes before His death takes on a whole new meaning. If instead of bemoaning God's cruelty and injustice as "Why hast thou forsaken me" impilies; what if He was really expressing a cry of triumph? What if instead of questioning God He was really acknowledging God's redemptive plan was nearly finished? I believe that Jesus was crying out for all to hear that as He was nearing the moment of death, He was fulfilling His very purpose in living.
There is no denying that the reason Jesus Christ came to this earth was to become the propitiation for our sins and in so doing, justify and redeem us from sin its consequences. In those dark moments directly before Jesus drew his last breath, it makes perfect logical sense that He would have used that occasion to cry out at the top of his lungs that VICTORY was about to be won; victory over sin and all the ugly consequences of it.
I offer you the following to ponder and think about. The last recorded words of Jesus come from John 19:30 when he said; "It is finished" according to King James. Please read John 19:28-30 from the New English Version:
"After that, Jesus, aware that all had now come to its appointed end, said in fulfillment of Scripture, ‘I thirst'.
A jar stood there full of sour wine; so they soaked a sponge with the wine, fixed it on a javelin, and held it up to his lips.
Having received the wine, he said, ‘It is accomplished'! He bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
Verse 28 said that Jesus was fully aware that everything had reached its APPOINTED END. In other words, Jesus knew what the Old Testament said and he knew that the time of his death was imminent. In order to fulfill scripture, he uttered the words, "I thirst". Once he received the wine, the final words our Lord and Savior said in this life were uttered; "It is accomplished".
What was accomplished? Your redemption and mine! It took Jesus dying on Calvary's cross to fulfill his personal destiny of being man's redeemer. Once everything was accomplished and He could do no more, He did the last thing available for him to do-he voluntarily gave up His life for you and me. This represented the very purpose for His being here. Jesus was born to our Savior, Redeemer, Messiah and Lord. It took Jesus' death for Him to actually be these things.
I pray that we never forget the VICTORY won for us through the redeeming death of our Lord Jesus. His broken body and shed blood was indeed the fulfillment of His very purpose in being born a man. That is why I believe His cry that He uttered moments before His death was a cry of triumph not one of misery. Jesus knew that His imminent dying would allow millions to live. What an incredible reason for living.
To the bystanders, it "looked" like defeat when in actuality, as you said, it was the moment of triumph and victory!
I cannot help but think the same is often true for us as Followers of Christ. We need to realize that what we view as our darkest moment may actually be the moment of God's victory cry and if we trust in Him, we may actually get a front row seat! I love front row seats!
Question: If the quote began "My God, My God" is this the only time we know of that Jesus referred to the Father as God? I don't know of the significance, other than pure amazement (for lack of a better word) of the awesome power of redemption. Am I missing the point?
We know that Jesus had no sin of His own however He took our sins on Himself becoming sin for us. We know that the wages of sin is death. This is spiritual death which is separation from God. Jesus could not have paid our debt unless He was separated from God and this is why those words in Matt 27:46, I believe, are translated correctly. The work had not been finished at this time. Jesus had to suffer and die on the cross, be buried, and rise again for the plan of salvation to be completed. If He had not arose then we would have no hope (1 Cor 15:12-19).
At least, this is how I interpret it.
Good discussion and literally God only knows which translation is right. The poiint is that all the above statements are correct! Jesus had to become sin, to save us. God abhors sin, so in that sense, the verse as traslated in KJV would be right. Yet, it was also the cry of a man who had reached the end of all that anyone could endure, pain and suffering wise. Jesus probably knew Psalms 23 by heart and he could very well have simply been quoting it. But, I still believe that the Matthew record put together with the John record indicate a declaration of victory over sin was in the process of taking place.
When Jesus uttered these words, he had not yet fully paid the price for sin and our redemption was not yet finished. The pain tearing through His body was beyond description and the agony had to have been beyond belief. Yet, God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son. Ultimately the definition of "forsake" certainly holds the key to understanding.
I will have to do some research when I ever get home into whether Jesus actually every addressed God directly before this time. It is an interesting question that intend to look up and understand.
Thanks one and all,
I only know that He was victorious and that He lives within my (your) heart! Praise the Lord! I serve a risen Saviour and He's in the world today whatever man may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer and just the time I need Him, He's always near. Hallelujah! Amen.
You know, I was thinking about this some more last night in conjunction with your blog about the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 15.
I haven't researched this enough so feel free to correct me but my understanding is when a blood covenant was made, the parties were to pass between the animals which had been torn in half. The significance was if either party broke the covenant, the penalty was for them to be torn apart as well. This was understandably a terrifying thing for Abraham to face. This was a covenant with God!
However, Abraham does not pass between the pieces. Only God does...indicating that He will pay the price for the broken covenant by becoming broken himself.
I can't explain how it can possibly happen but I believe Jesus experienced being torn apart and separated from God just as we were ...and yet in reality, even when there was a barrier between us and God we never were actually forsaken by God!