It gets personal on the Cross :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross, as he lived 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)

In the past, from both the pulpit as well as in articles (posts), servants of God, including I, have exposited on the plausible reasons as to the reason for Jesus questioning God as to why he had been forsaken. While we may never fully comprehend the extent to Jesus’ cry to God, we can see that in this saying, Jesus used the first person personal pronoun, ‘my’ in his address of his Father as God – not once, but twice. The word ‘my’ implies possession. When Jesus addressed God as ‘My God, My God’, he was making a personal address.

Points to ponder:
It gets personal on the Cross. In like manner, today, God is seeking you and me to have a personal Father-child relationship and to all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he has given them the power to be called the children of God (John 1:12). If you are yet to accept Jesus as your Savior, Lord and King, come to the Cross and make it personal today. It got personal on the Cross, the day they crucified Jesus. Today, get personal with God so that you can address God as “My” God, “My” God.

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?

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 4th saying from the Cross

This is the 4th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Four: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The Cross verbs today is “forsaken”.

Jesus was forsaken by God his father, so that God would not have to forsake us, his children. What is equally important for us to recognize is that Jesus willingly forsook all his glory in heaven for us on earth (Philippians 2:5-8)

Points to ponder:
God was forsaken by God so that he would not have to forsake us (man). Jesus forsook his heavenly glory of much worth for the us, who are fashioned out of the dust of this world.
The Cross verb “forsaken” calls us to action – to forsake the ephemeral and earthly things of this world for the eternal glory that is in the heavens.

Prayer: Eloi Eloi, we thank you for not forsaking us and pray that we have the mind as that of Christ Jesus, one which forsakes. Help us to forsake the worthless things of the world for the glory in the heavens. Lord, let us forsake. 

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?

Nahum 3:5-7 – Don’t become a gazingstock

The rulers, princes and people of Nineveh were oppressors of the people of God (Judah) and the nations they conquered, so much so that Nineveh is referred to as the bloody city, by God himself  (Nahum 3:1). Its merciless atrocities extended all the nations they conquered, including the people of God, but this did not go unnoticed in the sight of the Lord of hosts. Through his prophet Nahum, God sends word to the people of Nineveh that he was personally against them and that he would shame them by lifting their skirts upon their face before the nations and would make them vile and abominable (Nahum 3:5-6) and all who look at Nineveh shall flee from it  for she will be laid waste and there shall be no one left to moan for her or comfort her (Nahum 3:7). All that she would become is a gazingstock for the people to clap their hands in joy (Nahum 3:6; 3:19) for the afflicters shall be no more (Nahum 1:9).

Why would the Lord of hosts lift the skirts of this sinful people? For in their skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocents (Jeremiah 2:34); abominable filth (Lamentations 1:9; Nahum 3:6);  their iniquity/sinfulness (Jeremiah 13:22). In other words. God shall lift their very sins upon their face and expose their wickedness which they thought they did in secret (Jeremiah 2:34; 13:26) and there shall be no one to look back at her or comfort her (Nahum 2:8; Nahum 3:7)!

Points to ponder:
God is definitely a just God and those who are sinners (which is all of us – Romans 3:23) deserve to be punished. There is no secret sin before God (Psalm 90:8) for he is omniscient and no one can get away from God with their sinful acts. He rightfully has to lift our very sins upon our face and shame us, exposing our sinfulness. But despite his “just” nature, he is also a loving God, and the shame of our sinfulness, he placed on his Son Jesus Christ, who was stripped and exposed to a cruel death on the Cross (Matthew 27:35). He was shamed and the abominable filth of our sins was placed on Jesus, who knew no sin, so that we may become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). When he was crucified, there was no one left to moan for him, for his very own disciples and people deserted him, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 26:31; 56). Even the Holy Spirit of God who comforts (John 16:7) was not around to give Jesus the support he needed, for Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Jesus became the gazingstock for men to see and mock (Mark 15:18-20) so that you and I would not have to be. In other words, Jesus spread his skirt (robes of righteousness) over us to cover our nakedness and entered us into a covenant with God so that we become God’s (Ezekiel 16:8). When we believe in Jesus, and receive him, he washes us clean with his shed blood and pours out his Holy Spirit in our lives, to comfort us. If we refuse to believe in Jesus and if we continue to reject him, we should be ashamed because of our abominable sins/filth and we can expect to be a gazingstock. Don’t become a gazingstock – Trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today and receive him.

Nahum 3:5-7 (KJV)
5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

Ezekiel 16:8 (KJV)
8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.

Isaiah 61:10 (KJV)
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Let’s talk business :: From the Cross – 4th Saying

When Jesus was twelve years old, he questioned, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) and on his crucifixion, he spoke seven sayings that are often expanded upon on Good Friday services, all over the world. This series, ‘Let’s talk business’ is a look at the seven sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, from a business perspective. Today we shall look at the fourth saying from the Cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is to say “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. ” as recorded in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 (in fact, this is the only saying that is recorded in more than one gospel).

According to, the term “bankruptcy” is used to describe a legal procedure for liquidating a business or property owned by an individual and can be brought upon voluntarily or be forced on by the law. The two major objectives of bankruptcy are: first to function as a fair settlement of legal claims of the creditors and secondly to provide the debtor an opportunity for a fresh start.

When Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was not a cry of accusation but an expression of agony and bankruptcy, because the fulfillment of the first messianic prophecy declared in the garden of Eden by God (Genesis 3:15) was now coming into fruition, and Jesus, who was sinless had become sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) by the imputation of our sins on him, severing the holiness of God from him, for what communion can Light have with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). According to the law, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and the law required payment. In order to pay the price on behalf of mankind, Jesus voluntarily made himself bankrupt, leaving the glory that he had with God the Father (John 17:5), making himself One of no reputation (Philippians 2:7) and humbled himself unto death, even death on the Cross. A fair settlement is a sacrifice without blemish and when no one created in heaven or on earth could meet the requirement to stand in the gap between God and man, Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world bankrupts himself to become the sacrifice acceptable unto God, once and for all (Hebrews 10:1-18).  This way, his bankruptcy serves to provide man, the debtor, a fresh start, for whoever believes in the name of Jesus Christ, is a new creation for the old things have passed away and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Points to ponder: 
Jesus became bankrupt so that you and I could enjoy the riches of heaven and be brought into the glory of God. There is no other sacrifice that is acceptable to God. God forsook his only begotten Son, so that he did not have to forsake you. Do you have a fresh start? In other words, have you believed in Jesus Christ? An expression of the acronym FAITH is Forsaking All I Trust Him and Salvation comes only by grace through faith (belief) in Christ Jesus. Have you believed? If not, don’t tarry and for those of us who have believed, are you/I willing to become bankrupt of our worldly ties? In business terms, Jesus became bankrupt so that you and I could be rich toward God and that is the only currency that matters in this life and the one to come.

Matthew 27:46  (KJV)
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

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? 

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

[Scene: Courtroom; Location: Heaven; Defendant: You; Plaintiff: The accuser of the brethren a.k.a. Satan or the Adversary; Judge: God; Prosecutor: Jesus Christ]

Judge (God): Plaintiff, you may present your case.
Plaintiff (Satan): You see this filthy and guilty person. He deserves no mercy or grace for he has broken every law you have established. He is guilty of giving god like status to other things beside you.
Judge (God): Such as?
Plaintiff (Satan): His family, and his work. He is guilty of idolizing the materialistic possessions that you have given him, often refusing to give them back to you. He even takes your name in vain.
Judge (God): What do you mean?
Plaintiff (Satan): He professes with his lips your name but denies you by his life.
He does not keep your day holy, and works when he should be resting in your presence and gazing on your beauty in your house. He did not deserve the length of life that you had blessed him with, because he did not honor his father or his mother. He is guilty of murder, adultery, kept from giving back to you what you gave him thereby robbing you. He is a liar and a cheat, coveting all which does not belong to him. Most importantly, he does not love you nor his neighbors.
Judge (God): So, what is your charge against him?
Plaintiff (Satan): He is filthy of sin and guilty of unrighteousness; His penalty must be death! He is a good for nothing God-forsaken person.
Prosecutor (Jesus): I object your Honor.
Judge (God): Sustained
Prosecutor (Jesus): The plaintiff is incorrect. Yes, it is no doubt that this person deserves death, but He is not God-forsaken! You cannot forsake Him, Judge.
Judge (God): Why not?
Prosecutor (Jesus): Because you forsook me in his place. Remember, my agonizing and questioning cry from the cross – “Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani?” I asked you “Why” (Lama) but now I see the answer. This man here and all like him are the reason as to why you had to forsake me.
Verdict: Blameless and Not Guilty!
Plaintiff (Satan): How can this be?
Judge (God): God forsook God so that God did not have to forsake man. This courtroom is adjourned.

Point(s) to ponder:
Man does not have to ask of God, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” because Jesus did in our stead.

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?

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.