A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a paper to read titled “Forsaken or Abandoned?” by Doug Greenwold of Preserving Bible Times or PBT. Today I would like to share a small portion of what the article presented for your consideration.
When I was a little girl I remember asking why did God the Father forsake His Son when He was on the cross. The answer, no matter whom I asked, was always the same. The Father had to turn away because Jesus was carrying all of our sins for all time. I accepted the answer but honestly, I was troubled by it though I never dared to ask more. In my heart I would say, but God……How can I trust that You will never leave me or forsake me if You turned your eyes from your Son? I guess God heard me, and although it has been some time since I asked the question, He has provided an answer. I share it with you for your consideration, assuming you may have asked the same question.
The article I reference noted that it is important to approach these final words of Jesus not with our 21st century mind set, but with a first century Hebrew mind set. Matthew reports in chapter 27 verse 46 that Jesus said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” Jesus is quoting from Psalm 22. At the time of Christ, Psalm 22 was very well known. Observant young Jewish men memorized the Bible in preparation for their Bar Mitzvahs. They would have understood those nine words of Jesus as a remez. Remez is a Semitic word meaning “hint.” Dr. Randall Smith of a ministry called Preserving Bible Times, defines a remez as, “any portion of a portion is a whole portion”. In other words when Jesus said those nine words he was referencing all of Psalm 22. Remez was a common literary device used by the Jewish people.
Therefore let us let us take a look at Psalm 22. Today please read and consider verses1-21.
1My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5 They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered Me.
To be continued tomorrow……….
Information above from: A Passion Week Reflection #312 from PBT – “Forsaken or Abandoned?” by Doug Greenwold, 2012, preservingbibletimes.org