Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?


The fourth saying of Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins was a question directed not to any man, but to God. It is the only question in the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross and it was Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34; Matthew 27:46)

Even in dying, Jesus did not forget the scripture and was quoting from Psalm 22:1. But it is important to recognize that the answer is not specified explicitly. I wonder why?  We can only seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to try and understand the extent of meaning and implication of this saying.

Notice how in this saying, Jesus did not address God the Father as Father as he did in the first and last saying, but as God. What could be the reason for this? One explanation is that the father and son relationship, Jesus had with God the Father, had been broken when the sinless became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), because God the Father is Holy and can have nothing to do with sin. What communion can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14). Another explanation that is scriptural as well is that Jesus in His obedience to God made himself of no reputation, for He considered it robbery to be made equal with God (even though He was), humbling Himself as a servant (not Son) and addressed God the Father as My God. (Philippians 2). Jesus, the first born of all creation, experiences what it means to be an orphan as His Father was God.

Lama Sabachthani when translated means ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ Without the answer given to us explicitly in the scripture, we can pray for wisdom and search the scripture to understand this question and apply what we learn to be faithful servants of God as Jesus was. Besides the word, ‘forsaken’, the other words that can be used to acceptably signify the meaning of the word ‘sabachthani’ are ‘abandon’ or ‘deserted’.

Human acts such as the loss of a parent, betrayal by a friend or loved one  or a divorce from a spouse causes the sense of being deserted, abandoned,  or forsaken. God had to divorce his Only begotten Son so as to save the wedding of the people of God, the church with the Lamb (Revelation 19). God hates divorce is what the scripture says, and that means, God’s love for us was so great, that He willingly forsook (deserted) his Son, Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Enough Said. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us (1 John 3:1).

The closest answer of this question, I can find is from Galatians 3:13-14. God had to forsake God because God could not forsake man. Nicole Nordeman’s beautiful song ‘Why’ attempts to answer this question Jesus had for God which was ‘Why did you forsake me?’ and states that God’s answer to Jesus was ‘you and I’ are the ‘Why’. God had to stay true to the covenant he had made with a friend of his, a man by the name Abraham. Because Abraham had obeyed God, God has made a covenant to bless Abraham and his seed/children (Genesis 22:16-18).

God made God to become sin, because he wanted to make us righteous
God make God a curse, because of his word/covenant to bless us
God forsook God because he could not forsake us, He could not deny himself and what he had covenanted (2 Timothy 2:13)

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Galatians 3:13 -14 (KJV)
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

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