Did any of you study the last seven words of Christ during Easter? I had never done this and it was new to me. (My Girlfriend) Gale has a tradition in her family to discuss "The Last 7 Words of Christ" every Good Friday. If you don't know, as I didn't; the last 7 words are actually the seven phrases that Christ uttered from the cross. I am only going to discuss one of them here...."...Why have You forsaken me..."
When someone says to you "Amazing Grace...", you would likely immediately think; "..How sweet the sound..." and the next person in the room would likely echo "..that saved a wretch like me..." This is a teaching technique widely used by the Jews to learn religious passages. Christ was using this technique from the cross. From a purely physical perspective Christ could only utter short bursts of speech because his breathing was severely restricted by the process of crucifixion. So all of the "Seven Last Sayings" are very short. Each phrase was very carefully chosen and was intended to remind those present and those of us yet to come, about the parts of the scripture that were fulfilled by his life, crucifixion and resurrection.
The one phrase I am writing about now is "My God, My God; Why have You forsaken Me...?" EVERY Pharisee and those with a Jewish religious background would have immediately recognized that Christ on the cross was intentionally reminding them of prophesy being fulfilled. These words He spoke would have let those listening know that He is referring to the prophesy of the writer of Psalm 22 which begins "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me...". That phrase would have struck fear into the hearts of those listening because it would have lead their minds directly Psalm 22 which tells of the events surrounding the crucifixion and how the events they were witnessing are the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Somewhere some Jewish leader must have been saying to themselves, "...OH NO! He really IS the Son of God..", Just as the Roman Centurion recognized that he was.
I am including Psalm 22 below. Read it and take note of the prophecies fulfilled by Christ on the cross. Imagine how the Jewish leaders must have felt as Christ reminded them of His Deity and His fulfillment of the Scriptures. And this is just one example. I have highlighted a few of the prophesies that jumped out at me.
This exercise reminded me once again about our need to STUDY the WORD....not just read it. (Thanks to Gale).
I LOVE you Guys,
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.[b]
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
“let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth[d] is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce[e] my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it! (reminds me of."...IT IS FINISHED...").