Mature Class Study, teacher Alyce Crain.
A dying man is going to try to convey what is most important to him with his last words. Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.” Today we’re studying of the meaning of those words and what Jesus wanted to say.
When a rabbi taught in the temple, he referred to the first line or words of scripture or a psalm. Jesus said their fathers trusted in the Lord and he delivered them. Jesus bones were out of joint on the cross and his mouth was dry with thrist. Roman soldiers pierced Jesus’ hands and feet with nails and cast lots for his clothes. Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of Psalm 22 to deliver the people and conquer death. People who heard interpreted that Jesus was reciting the first words of Psalm 22.
Mark 15:34-37 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? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
Some may wonder why would God forsake Jesus at the most critical time in his life? And why would someone get vinegar on a sponge for him? When someone is crucified, their arms are out and they’re slowly suffocating because their body weight is making the body collapse. The arms and shoulders come out of joint. It’s a horrible, torturous, slow death. Jesus was struggling to breathe as he spoke his last words. Jesus knew he was triumphing over sin and it would set everyone free from the power of sin who would call on him. He wasn’t just dying an agonizing death but he was praising God. He knew he was sent to do God’s will and he was fulfilling it when he died. He knew there would be a people, a seed, who would serve God because of what he did for us. Jesus death on the cross was the prophesy being fulfilled.
Psalm 22:1-31 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” is only in two places in the Bible, Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. When Jesus was on the cross and said “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani” it brought the people’s thoughts to Psalm 22 because of their traditions in temple worship. The New Testament was written in Greek but referred to Hebrew or Aramaic words. Eli or eloi means “my God.” Lama means “why?” There is no Hebrew or Aramaic word “sabachthani.” There is a word “thani” that means “you have done this to me.” So thani meant you have done “sabach” to me, but there is no word like “sabach” in Hebrew or Aramaic. The old testament was written in Hebrew. In Psalm 22 it says, “Eli, eli, lama azavthani.” Azavthani is the Hebrew word that means “you have left me destitute.” Matthew and Mark translated what Jesus said to “sabachthani.” It was very close to azavthani. There are two Hebrew words “Zabach thani” that mean “you sacrificed me.” In Strong’s concordance: G4518 sabachthani means forsaken, H5800 azav thani means forsaken, abandoned, or left destitute. Zabach H2077 means to sacrifice and zabach H2076 slaughter for sacrifice. Jesus words meant you have sacrificed me or you have slaughtered me for sacrifice (like a lamb as for a sacrifice for sins). Jesus’ last words were not to just lead people to Psalm 22, but so they would understand he was saying he was the Lamb God sacrificed for their sins. My God, my God, you’ve sacrificed me for the sins of the people.
Matthew 27:46 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?
Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice for our sins. Everything that happened to him was clearly spelled out in Psalm 22.
Psalm 22:16-18 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
God did not abandon Jesus. God will never abandon us in our afflictions.
Psalm 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
Can we say, Amen, Jesus is the sacrifice that free us from our sins. Let’s live our life so we show that Jesus defeated sin in our hearts and lives.
Psalm 22:30-31 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.