Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani

Ok, so you may be wondering what the title means or says, because its obviously not English.  Well, I will tell you.  It means, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me."  If you have ever read through Mathew or Mark you have read this.  I know from time to time, in my lack of understanding I would wonder about why Christ would ask God why He had forsaken Him, when He knew the plan all along.

It wasn't until I took a class from an interesting teacher that I understood. I had a professor named Blaine Robison who explained it in a way that really made sense.

When Jewish children were at age to begin school they would go to the temple to learn from a Rabbi.  They were taught the scriptures and told to memorize them.  Many learned only the first 5 books, but if you were selected by the Rabbi you would get to continue your education with him.  Those that didn't get selected might still learn scripture, but not under the tutelage of the Rabbi.  They would began to learn a trade.

When I say they memorized the scripture I mean it.  They knew what it said word for word and could quote it on demand.  Which is exactly what Jesus was doing here.  He KNEW scripture. He KNEW what is said. He KNEW it's meaning.  So when He said, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, He was actually quoting scripture.  Read Matthew 27:45 and 46 then check out Psalm 22.  See the resemblance.  You will notice that as you read Psalm 22 the end result is that God is glorified.  Why He was quoting a couple lines, He was actually implying the whole passage.

This changes a lot about the meaning of what He says.  Left alone it could cause some to question why Jesus would say that.  I questioned it. However, knowing that even in the moment of great weakness, Jesus again pulls out the scripture card and says, "No Satan, victory is my Father's!"

This same sort of concept takes place all throughout the bible. The problem is, most of us don't have enough scripture memorized to understand what is actually being conveyed.  There is hope though.  Look in your Bible. I bet you will find little letters that randomly appear next to words that seem to make no sense when reading through it.  (It's not math, your not supposed to have exponents) These are all references.  Somewhere else on the page it will tell you where to reference.  If you take time to actually look up the references you will find how interconnected the Bible really is and how if we read things in context they seem to make a whole lot more sense.

Our next read the Bible through Jewish eyes.  That my friends, will be another blog post.


  1. Great post. It is finished. I did not know about this comparison in Scripture.

  2. Thanks! It is amazing how we grow up thinking one thing, and then someone who has studied so much points something out to us and then we wonder how did we ever miss this. While His class was hard, I learned so much about scripture.

    Thanks for the response!