And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”Matthew 27:46
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” That was what Jesus cried out and said before He gave up His spirit and died. And to figure out why He said what He said, we refer to Psalm 22:1-2, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I CRY IN THE DAYTIME, but YOU DO NOT HEAR; and in the night season, and am not silent.”
At the Cross, Jesus was in the exact, same footing as the Psalmist when He cried out, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” A cry like this is a cry for help. It is an emergency situation where the person is in some sort of danger or crisis. And in Psalm 22:2, we read in greater detail, the drumming behind such cries, that yells, “I cry in the day, but God did not hear and by night the cries are yet not silent.”
Imagine this, you are involved in a car accident and you are pinned inside the crushed vehicle, unable to get out. You can’t move, you’re unable to free yourself. You are locked in a position where you can do nothing, except other than to yell and scream for help. But no one answers you. People walked pass but turned away from you. No one came to your rescue. And this, you’ve been yelling for help the entire day and the entire night. But no one came.
That was exact what happened to Jesus at Golgotha. He was pinned to the wooden Cross. The people around him, they were there standing, looking and doing nothing to offer Him assistance. And Jesus cried out to God for help. But shockingly, God turned away from Jesus. Is this even possible, for the Father to turn away from His own Son? Well, that’s what the Bible stated and that’s what Jesus Himself said, asking why the Father had forsaken or turned away from Him.
Now, let come back to ourselves. Isn’t this familiar territory? As in, during some the most difficult episodes of our lives, during moments when we need God’s help the most and we’ve been praying and seeking God’s help day and night, but somehow we felt He is not there at all and not listening to our prayers. In fact we are not alone. The Bible is full of verses showing us on many occasions, where God turned away and would not listen. Read Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 1:15, Isaiah 59:2, John 9:31.
In all the examples given in the Bible, God turns away and will not listen when sin is present. God shows not partiality (Deuteronomy 1:17), meaning he does not practice favoritism. As long as sin is present, He turns away and not listen. Rich or poor, wise or foolish, He does the same without partiality. God even does the same to Jesus. The nails that kept Jesus hanging at the Cross, were stained with blood as a result of our sins and our transgressions.
IT WAS BECAUSE OF OUR SINS, THAT GOD THE FATHER TURNED AWAY FROM JESUS, WHO DUTIFULLY OBEYED THE FATHER, CARRYING OUR SINS TO THE CROSS, AND PAYING THE PRICE OF OUR TRANSGRESSIONS WITH HIS BLOOD. IT WAS BECAUSE OF OUR DEEDS, THAT THE FATHER DID NOT LISTEN TO JESUS WHEN HE CRIED OUT, ELI ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI. THESE ARE THE MOMENTS WHEN CHRIST HIMSELF EXPERIENCED THE FEAR OF BEING TURNED AWAY BY THE FATHER.
Do you realize, what had happened? Is it obvious to you that Christ was shouldering our sins when the Father turned away? When Christ was hanging on the Cross, it is not His sin, but ours. Is it clear to you now that God so profoundly hates sin that He cannot be in sight with sin at all? Not even with His own Son that He had to turn away from Him.
Therefore understand this, Eli eli lama sabachthani are the cries of great, strenuous difficulty when Christ borne the burdens of our sins at the Cross. This is not a joke and history at the Cross is no small matter. Jesus did not surrender Himself to be crucified just because He likes you and I so much that He is willing to do anything for us. No, that is not the fact. Jesus gave Himself up because He obeyed the Father’s wishes and to demonstrate that the Father so loved the world, that He is willing to pay the price of our sins with the blood of His own Son. Know the difference, know it well and write this down in your hearts.
What Must We Do
Pray and seek help from the Holy Spirit to teach us the incident at the Cross, the tragedy at Golgotha, and what exactly took place at the time when Jesus was crucified. And because of this, ask the Holy Spirit to explain to us what is the relationship between our sins, the Life of Jesus, and what He was commissioned by the Father to do at the Cross. Ask the Holy Spirit to explain to us why these events brought the world to where it is today, as a result of what He did at the Cross, why Jesus have the right to declare He is the only Way to the Father, what He meant when He said He is the Truth, and how He holds full autonomy as the Giver of eternal Life to mankind.