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LWOC - Martha

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The Fourth Word from the Cross: Martha
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The Fourth Word from the Cross:
The Fourth Word from the Cross: Martha
Martha
Matthew 27:46, John 11:1-44, Matthew 12:34, Matthew 27:35-49, Psalm 22:1,
, , , , , , , ,
, , ,
Psalm 22:7-8, Psalm 22:16-18, Exodus 10:21-22, Amos 8:9-10
While we do not know for sure, it is interesting to consider what someone like Jesus’ friend, Martha, might have been feeling and thinking about if she was present to hear what Jesus said when He was on the cross. When Jesus said His fourth word of the cross:
While†we†do†not†know†for†sure¨†it†is†interesting†to†consider†what†someone†like†Jesus’†friend¨†Martha¨†might†have
Matthew 27:46 ESV
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
), imagine how those words might have stirred Martha in her heart, mind, and soul. Martha had experienced what it feels like to be forsaken. She felt forsaken by her friend, Jesus, when He was not present at the time her brother, Lazarus, died. She was disappointed and distraught that Jesus was not there when Lazarus’ sickness led not to another of Jesus’ miraculous recoveries, but rather to his death and a tomb.
imagine how those words might have stirred Martha in her heart, mind, and soul. Martha had experienced what it feels like to be forsaken. She felt forsaken by her friend, Jesus, when He was not present at the time her brother, Lazarus, died. She was disappointed and distraught that Jesus was not there when Lazarus’ sickness led not to another of Jesus’ miraculous recoveries, but rather to his death and a tomb.
been†feeling†and†thinking†about†if†she†was†present†to†hear†what†Jesus†said†when†He†was†on†the†crossƆWhen
Martha’s feelings ended up shifting shortly after Jesus did arrive, but once a person feels the sting of being forsaken, even if misplaced, one does not forget that sensation.
When Jesus spoke those words dealing with feeling forsaken from the cross, He was on His way at a rapid pace to breathing His final breath before death. Afterwards, He would be taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb as a dead man just as His friend, Lazarus was a few days earlier. At that time all Martha and her sister Mary could do was watch, hope, pray and send word to their friend, Jesus, asking Him for help. Jesus did come to them. At first, they thought He was too late. They felt forsaken by their friend. They felt hurt. They were at a loss. But their loss turned around before too long.
Jesus†said†His†fourth†word†of†the†cross∫†“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†®Matthew†27∫46©¨
If Martha heard Jesus say what He said on the cross, did this whole scene from race back to her mind?
imagine†how†those†words†might†have†stirred†Martha†in†her†heart¨†mind¨†and†soulƆMartha†had†experienced†what
John 11 ESV
1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
race back to her mind?
it†feels†like†to†be†forsakenƆShe†felt†forsaken†by†her†friend¨†Jesus¨†when†He†was†not†present†at†the†time†her
“Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this, he said to the disciples, “Let us go to
brother¨†Lazarus¨†diedƆShe†was†disappointed†and†distraught†that†Jesus†was†not†there†when†Lazarus’†sickness
Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake, I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
led†not†to†another†of†Jesus’†miraculous†recoveries¨†but†rather†to†his†death†and†a†tombÆ
Martha’s†feelings†ended†up†shifting†shortly†after†Jesus†did†arrive¨†but†once†a†person†feels†the†sting†of†being
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
forsaken¨†even†if†misplaced¨†one†does†not†forget†that†sensationÆ
When†Jesus†spoke†those†words†dealing†with†feeling†forsaken†from†the†cross¨†He†was†on†His†way†at†a†rapid†pace
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
to†breathing†His†final†breath†before†deathƆAfterwards¨†He†would†be†taken†down†from†the†cross†and†laid†in†a
While Martha may have felt forsaken at first, there is indeed always hope for a different ending in the story. She experienced that first hand with Jesus and Lazarus when He called her brother out from death and darkness. Perhaps what seemed imminent and final at the cross might have a twist in time as well. Regardless, at the moment Jesus uttered the fourth word, He was feeling forsaken.
While Martha may have felt forsaken at first, there is indeed always hope for a different ending in the story. She experienced that first hand with Jesus and Lazarus when He called her brother out from death and darkness. Perhaps what seemed imminent and final at the cross might have a twist in time as well. Regardless, at the moment Jesus uttered the fourth word, He was feeling forsaken.
tomb†as†a†dead†man†just†as†His†friend¨†Lazarus†was†a†few†days†earlierƆAt†that†time†all†Martha†and†her†sister
The fourth word Jesus spoke from the cross was a magnificent word that has been hard to understand fully as words coming from the lips of the Son of God about His Heavenly Father. However, make no mistake about it, He meant to say them and did not regret what He said.
Mary†could†do†was†watch¨†hope¨†pray†and†send†word†to†their†friend¨†Jesus¨†asking†Him†for†helpƆJesus†did†come
to†themƆAt†first¨†they†thought†He†was†too†lateƆThey†felt†forsaken†by†their†friendƆThey†felt†hurtƆThey†were†at
Nevertheless, we sometimes say things we regret. After we say some words and they escape the safety of our lips, at times we wish that we could grab those words, stuff them back in our mouths and swallow them down into the depths of our insides. Have you ever had one of those moments when right after you said something, you had an “OH NO,” experience? You wanted those words back and would stuff them deep down inside if you only could do it?
There is a moment in one of the classic Christmas movies called A Christmas Story starring Peter Billingsley, that his character has an “OH NO” moment. His character named Ralphie says something that he wishes with all his might he would not have said. In this scene, Ralphie and his family are coming back home from a family outing, and are singing Christmas songs, when all the sudden we hear the car they are riding in have a blowout.
a†lossƆBut†their†loss†turned†around†before†too†longÆ
Ralphie’s dad gets out of the car to change the flat, and his mom turns to Ralphie and suggests that he go and help his dad change the tire. It was intended to be kind of a father-son bonding time. The dad gives Ralphie the job of holding the hubcap where his dad puts the , and then all the sudden Ralphie ends up messing up the moment with his dad as the hubcap and lugnuts from the tire go flying when the tire is being changed. That’s when the “OH NO” moment occurs. We don’t hear exactly what he says, but we know that Ralphie says the “Queen Mother of all Dirty Words.” And he gets in so much trouble when he gets home as he gets his mouth washed out with soap.
If†Martha†heard†Jesus†say†what†He†said†on†the†cross¨†did†this†whole†scene†from†John†11†race†back†to†her†mindø
While Ralphie’s mom interrogates him about where he heard that “Queen Mother of all the Dirty Words” in the first place, he blames it on his friend Schwartz. However, Ralphie then says, "Now I had heard my father say that word every day of my life."
“Now†a†certain†man†was†ill¨†Lazarus†of†Bethany¨†the†village†of†Mary†and†her†sister†MarthaƆIt†was†Mary
It was his father who had sewn that word into Ralphie's soul over time. When his life got filled up with fear and anguish in the tire-changing-lug-nut-losing moment with his dad, those emotions flooded his insides and what was deep down inside of his heart overflowed out of his mouth.
who†anointed†the†Lord†with†ointment†and†wiped†his†feet†with†her†hair¨†whose†brother†Lazarus†was†illƆSo
the†sisters†sent†to†him¨†saying¨†“Lord¨†he†whom†you†love†is†illÆ”†But†when†Jesus†heard†it¨†he†said¨†“This
It was as if Ralphie's dad had put something down in his son's soul; when his insides got flooded with emotion and fear in that moment, the flood that poured into him caused those sown in seeds of dirty words to rise to the top and then overflow out of his mouth.
illness†does†not†lead†to†deathƆIt†is†for†the†glory†of†God¨†so†that†the†Son†of†God†may†be†glorified†through
Jesus said it like this,
Matthew 12:34 ESV
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
itÆ”†Now†Jesus†loved†Martha†and†her†sister†and†LazarusƆSo¨†when†he†heard†that†Lazarus†was†ill¨†he
As we consider the fourth word from the cross, listen to it and look at it through that lens: “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” What we hear Jesus say during this moment on the cross is what is surfacing from the depths of His heart and soul as He is being flooded on the inside with everything that was in the cup He asked His Father not to make Him drink in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before.
\"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." , (NIV)
stayed†two†days†longer†in†the†place†where†he†wasƆThen†after†this¨†he†said†to†the†disciples¨†“Let†us†go†to
As we consider the fourth word from the cross, listen to it and look at it through that lens: “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” What we hear Jesus say during this moment on the cross is what is surfacing from the depths of His heart and soul as He is being flooded on the inside with everything that was in the cup He asked His Father not to make Him drink in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before.
SkitGuys.com
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was having some FaceTime with His Heavenly Father. He tells His Father who is in Heaven, “If there is any other way for Me to rescue the world from sin, death, Satan, and hell besides having to drink what is in this cup, let’s go to plan “B.” I would rather not drink the wrath of God and have My soul flooded with the sin of humanity if there is any other way.”
Judea†againÆ”†The†disciples†said†to†him¨†“Rabbi¨†the†Jews†were†just†now†seeking†to†stone†you¨†and†are
you†going†there†againø”†Jesus†answered¨†“Are†there†not†twelve†hours†in†the†dayø†If†anyone†walks†in†the
And God the Father says, “There is no other way. If You want to save the world, then You have to drink the cup.”
And Jesus says, “Not My will…but Your will be done. Let’s do it…I’ll take the flooding of My soul if it means We get FaceTime with humanity throughout eternity.”
day¨†he†does†not†stumble¨†because†he†sees†the†light†of†this†worldƆBut†if†anyone†walks†in†the†night¨†he
The scene leading to the fourth word from the cross then unfolds in
stumbles¨†because†the†light†is†not†in†himÆ”†After†saying†these†things¨†he†said†to†them¨†“Our†friend
Matthew 27:35–49 ESV
35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”
Lazarus†has†fallen†asleep¨†but†I†go†to†awaken†himÆ”†The†disciples†said†to†him¨†“Lord¨†if†he†has†fallen
“And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head, they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” ESV
asleep¨†he†will†recoverÆ”†Now†Jesus†had†spoken†of†his†death¨†but†they†thought†that†he†meant†taking†rest
in†sleepƆThen†Jesus†told†them†plainly¨†“Lazarus†has†died¨†and†for†your†sake¨†I†am†glad†that†I†was†not
Notice again the fourth words that Jesus cried out in verse 46?
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
there¨†so†that†you†may†believeƆBut†let†us†go†to†himÆ”†So†Thomas¨†called†the†Twin¨†said†to†his†fellow
It’s hard to hear Jesus say those words. At face value, those words are bothersome. Those words seem to go against the nature and character of who we understand God to be. Nobody really wants to think about God being a God who might turns His back on someone. I don’t want to think about God leaving me when I need Him the most.
disciples¨†“Let†us†also†go¨†that†we†may†die†with†himÆ”
It’s hard to hear Jesus say those words. At face value, those words are bothersome. Those words seem to go against the nature and character of who we understand God to be. Nobody really wants to think about God being a God who might turns His back on someone. I don’t want to think about God leaving me when I need Him the most.
Now†when†Jesus†came¨†he†found†that†Lazarus†had†already†been†in†the†tomb†four†daysƆBethany†was†near
However, I do love the fact that Jesus seems to be one who if you asked Him in the moment when He is in his deepest pain, “How’s everything going, Jesus?” He isn’t one who just goes, “Fine. Fine. Everything’s just fine.”
Jerusalem¨†about†two†miles†off¨†and†many†of†the†Jews†had†come†to†Martha†and†Mary†to†console†them
We do that sometimes.
concerning†their†brotherƆSo†when†Martha†heard†that†Jesus†was†coming¨†she†went†and†met†him¨†but†Mary
Someone asks, “How’s it going?” We respond, “Fine.”
remained†seated†in†the†houseƆMartha†said†to†Jesus¨†“Lord¨†if†you†had†been†here¨†my†brother†would†not
have†diedƆBut†even†now†I†know†that†whatever†you†ask†from†God¨†God†will†give†youÆ”†Jesus†said†to†her¨
However, things may be everything but “Fine.” On the inside what we really feel like saying is: “I feel forsaken. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That’s basically what Martha said to Jesus when her brother died, and Jesus showed up two days later. “Jesus, I feel like you have forsaken me!”
There is something refreshing and appealing in that Jesus is the God who gets raw, real and honest as He shares what’s in the depths of His soul. When the wrath of God began to flow from the cup into His life, what overflows out of the mouth of Jesus is what had been sown into the heart of Jesus for years and years and years.
“Your†brother†will†rise†againÆ”†Martha†said†to†him¨†“I†know†that†he†will†rise†again†in†the†resurrection†on
“My God, My God…WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
the†last†dayÆ”†Jesus†said†to†her¨†“I†am†the†resurrection†and†the†lifeƆWhoever†believes†in†me¨†though†he
die¨†yet†shall†he†live¨†and†everyone†who†lives†and†believes†in†me†shall†never†dieƆDo†you†believe†thisø”
Let’s explore what it means that these words were sown into the heart of Jesus for years and years and years. It goes back to the school curriculum for Jewish boys in the first century. Their school work was to memorize sections of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, was what was sown into their hearts and lives from a very young age. Jesus was a Jewish boy who would have had the Old Testament sown into His soul, heart, and life. When Jesus cries out from the cross, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” What is overflowing from the depths of His heart is the first line from a Psalm that He would have memorized and had sown into His soul from the early years of His life.
She†said†to†him¨†“Yes¨†Lordª†I†believe†that†you†are†the†Christ¨†the†Son†of†God¨†who†is†coming†into†the
worldÆ”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
Psalm 22:1 ESV
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
When†she†had†said†this¨†she†went†and†called†her†sister†Mary¨†saying†in†private¨†“The†Teacher†is†here†and
The fourth word from the cross that Jesus cries out are the lyrics to a song He would have memorized that were deep in His soul. is known as a song of lament. It was a song that people would sing and say when they were in a time of suffering. Most Jews in Jesus’ day would have recognized and known this song. This is the song people sang when they were experiencing pain in their lives.
is†calling†for†youÆ”†And†when†she†heard†it¨†she†rose†quickly†and†went†to†himƆNow†Jesus†had†not†yet
It is interesting that in our day, the song people often turn to and even memorize is . However, few people likely memorize .
come†into†the†village†but†was†still†in†the†place†where†Martha†had†met†himƆWhen†the†Jews†who†were
with†her†in†the†house¨†consoling†her¨†saw†Mary†rise†quickly†and†go†out¨†they†followed†her¨†supposing
has at least two parts. The first part of the Psalm is about all the pain, suffering and feelings of abandonment. However, halfway through the Psalm, it shifts from pain and suffering to hope and what’s coming around the corner: The Kingdom of God and a new day when God will deliver His people and bring forth a victory worth celebrating throughout the ages.
Jesus had the whole song in mind just as His contemporaries would have on that day. Some songs are just the songs you sing at different occasions. On your birthday you sing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY. On Christmas Eve at the Candlelight Service you sing: SILENT NIGHT. On New Year’s Eve after the clock strikes midnight you sing: AULD LANG SYNE. During the 7th inning stretch of a baseball game you sing: TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME.
that†she†was†going†to†the†tomb†to†weep†thereƆNow†when†Mary†came†to†where†Jesus†was†and†saw†him¨
she†fell†at†his†feet¨†saying†to†him¨†“Lord¨†if†you†had†been†here¨†my†brother†would†not†have†diedÆ”†33
And in the first century when a Jewish person was in the midst of suffering and pain, the song that overflows from the depths of their heart was which starts out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
That may be strange as twenty-first-century people living with a more modern-day mindset and culture. However, it was not foreign to a first-century Jewish person who had an ancient near eastern mindset and Hebrew cultural context. What may be strange to some people and cultures in the twenty-first century not only is normal to a first century Jew living in Israel but also was packed full of “OH WOW” moments for those at the cross that day.
When†Jesus†saw†her†weeping¨†and†the†Jews†who†had†come†with†her†also†weeping¨†he†was†deeply†moved
What a first-century Jewish person might have been thinking about when they heard Jesus saying those fourth magnificent words from the cross that were overflowing from His heart because they had been sown into His heart were more than what we first realize. We don’t realize that often when first century Jewish Rabbi’s would quote a line from a Psalm, such as Jesus does here on the cross when he quotes :
in†his†spirit†and†greatly†troubledƆAnd†he†said¨†“Where†have†you†laid†himø”†They†said†to†him¨†“Lord¨
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
come†and†seeÆ”†Jesus†weptƆSo†the†Jews†said¨†“See†how†he†loved†him°”†But†some†of†them†said¨†“Could
not†he†who†opened†the†eyes†of†the†blind†man†also†have†kept†this†man†from†dyingø”
Although he may only be quoting the first line of the song, a first century Rabbi would have the whole Psalm in mind. Thus, what may only look like Jesus crying out to His Father that He is abandoning Him in his time of need, Jesus likely had a bigger picture in mind. He knew another lyric to the song in His heart that did not get sung out loud, but that was in His heart, nonetheless. Rabbis in Jesus’ day didn’t always say the whole Psalm. They often only would sing the first verse even when they had the whole song in mind.
To be clear, Jesus does not explicitly tell us what He is thinking in this moment on the cross. However, it is reasonable to believe Jesus absolutely felt abandoned in that moment. He was being honest in that moment. He didn’t say everything was fine. The words of the song not only overflowed out of His heart and mouth but also, they resonated with his emotions. Regardless, He didn’t only have verse one from sown into His heart.
Then†Jesus¨†deeply†moved†again¨†came†to†the†tombƆIt†was†a†cave¨†and†a†stone†lay†against†itƆJesus†said¨
“Take†away†the†stoneÆ”†Martha¨†the†sister†of†the†dead†man¨†said†to†him¨†“Lord¨†by†this†time†there†will†be
He had the whole song in His heart and mind. And there are things in this Psalm that echo what we read in the passage that we see unfolding at the cross when Jesus is being crucified. It’s listening to verse one of the Psalm in light of the whole Psalm that makes the fourth words from the cross so utterly magnificent.
He had the whole song in His heart and mind. And there are things in this Psalm that echo what we read in the passage that we see unfolding at the cross when Jesus is being crucified. It’s listening to verse one of the Psalm in light of the whole Psalm that makes the fourth words from the cross so utterly magnificent.
an†odor¨†for†he†has†been†dead†four†daysÆ”†Jesus†said†to†her¨†“Did†I†not†tell†you†that†if†you†believed†you
would†see†the†glory†of†Godø”†So†they†took†away†the†stoneƆAnd†Jesus†lifted†up†his†eyes†and†said¨
Jesus echoes this Psalm, written by David when he was going through a time of suffering in his life, because this was the song people sang when they were suffering in that day. Look at some of these things in that connect back with the cross scene beyond verse 1.
“All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“Father¨†I†thank†you†that†you†have†heard†meƆI†knew†that†you†always†hear†me¨†but†I†said†this†on†account
“He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
of†the†people†standing†around¨†that†they†may†believe†that†you†sent†meÆ”†When†he†had†said†these†things¨
Psalm 22:7–8 ESV
7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
When it says in verse 16…
When it says in verse 16…
he†cried†out†with†a†loud†voice¨†“Lazarus¨†come†outÆ”†The†man†who†had†died†came†out¨†his†hands†and†feet
“For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
Psalm 22:16–18 ESV
16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
Look how these last verses end with such hope, victory and perspective about what is coming at the end of the suffering. It has the rest of the story that Jesus, His contemporaries and all in that day who would have gone through tough, painful and suffering times would have been singing and holding on to what was sown into their hearts at young ages.
Look how these last verses end with such hope, victory and perspective about what is coming at the end of the suffering. It has the rest of the story that Jesus, His contemporaries and all in that day who would have gone through tough, painful and suffering times would have been singing and holding on to what was sown into their hearts at young ages.
bound†with†linen†strips¨†and†his†face†wrapped†with†a†clothƆJesus†said†to†them¨†“Unbind†him¨†and†let†him
goÆ”†John†11∫1≠44
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”
Psalm 22:27–31 ESV
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Don’t miss that “OH WOW” moment at the end of verse 31: “that HE HAS DONE IT.” Another way to say those final words: IT IS FINISHED! That is the sixth word from the cross we will look at in the coming weeks.
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Don’t miss that “OH WOW” moment at the end of verse 31: “that HE HAS DONE IT.” Another way to say those final words: IT IS FINISHED! That is the sixth word from the cross we will look at in the coming weeks.
When Jesus cried out from the cross the first line from , “My God, My God why have you forsaken me,” He had the whole Psalm planted in His soul. We hear the first lyric, but He knows that there is more to that song. In the end, Jesus is the suffering servant who is fulfilling everything the Scriptures said would happen. As a twenty-first century reader, we likely do not see all that is going on like a first-century Jewish person would have understood.
While†Martha†may†have†felt†forsaken†at†first¨†there†is†indeed†always†hope†for†a†different†ending†in†the†storyÆ
She†experienced†that†first†hand†with†Jesus†and†Lazarus†when†He†called†her†brother†out†from†death†and†darknessÆ
Matthew wrote this gospel primarily with a Jewish audience in mind. And the things Matthew includes in his gospel account of the crucifixion would have connected on a cultural level with his first-century Jewish audience.
Perhaps†what†seemed†imminent†and†final†at†the†cross†might†have†a†twist†in†time†as†wellƆRegardless¨†at†the
Why?
moment†Jesus†uttered†the†fourth†word¨†He†was†feeling†forsakenÆ
Because they had the Old Testament seeds sown into their souls as well. Thus, when the religious leaders of the day are standing around the cross watching this unfold and listening to what Jesus says, they see prophecy unfold right before their eyes.
Because they had the Old Testament seeds sown into their souls as well. Thus, when the religious leaders of the day are standing around the cross watching this unfold and listening to what Jesus says, they see prophecy unfold right before their eyes.
The†fourth†word†Jesus†spoke†from†the†cross†was†a†magnificent†word†that†has†been†hard†to†understand†fully†as
words†coming†from†the†lips†of†the†Son†of†God†about†His†Heavenly†FatherƆHowever¨†make†no†mistake†about†it¨
For example, when Jesus says the fourth words:
He†meant†to†say†them†and†did†not†regret†what†He†saidÆ
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Nevertheless¨†we†sometimes†say†things†we†regretƆAfter†we†say†some†words†and†they†escape†the†safety†of†our
As Jewish people who knew that Psalm and had it sown into their hearts, too, they would have been connecting with those other lyrics in the song. They would have linked the words that talk about the mocking and letting God deliver Him and the language about the pierced hands and feet and the dividing His garments by casting lots that we just read above. The Jewish religious leaders of the day around the cross would have been connecting the dots and viewing it all through the lens of prophecy.
lips¨†at†times†we†wish†that†we†could†grab†those†words¨†stuff†them†back†in†our†mouths†and†swallow†them†down
And in when it says:
into†the†depths†of†our†insidesƆHave†you†ever†had†one†of†those†moments†when†right†after†you†said†something¨
“Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.”
you†had†an†“OH†NO¨”†experienceø†You†wanted†those†words†back†and†would†stuff†them†deep†down†inside†if
In the first century, they counted time from the hour the sun came up until it went down. Thus, the sixth hour until the ninth hour would translate from noon to 3 pm. Therefore, just after lunch when the sky goes dark and about 3 pm when Jesus starts overflowing on the cross with the words from , they would have looked around and not just seen the dark skies, they also would have seen the words of the prophets coming true.
you†only†could†do†itø
In the Old Testament, when God brings darkness over the land, it is a sign of judgment. Because the Old Testament would have been sown into these Jewish people’s hearts watching this cross event unfold when the sky turns black, what begins to rise in their hearts and minds are passages like and where it says:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”
There†is†a†moment†in†one†of†the†classic†Christmas†movies†called†A†Christmas†Story†starring†Peter†Billingsley¨
Exodus 10:21–22 ESV
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Judgment is being personified by the darkness over the land. Notice similar language in :
that†his†character†has†an†“OH†NO”†momentƆHis†character†named†Ralphie†says†something†that†he†wishes†with
Judgment is being personified by the darkness over the land. Notice similar language in :
all†his†might†he†would†not†have†saidƆIn†this†scene¨†Ralphie†and†his†family†are†coming†back†home†from†a†family
“And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.”
Amos 8:9–10 ESV
9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. 10 I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.
The first-century Jewish person sees things happening in this account that twenty-first-century people may not notice. We often don’t get past: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” However, Jesus has the whole song in mind because that is what has been sown into His heart throughout the years.
The first-century Jewish person sees things happening in this account that twenty-first-century people may not notice. We often don’t get past: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” However, Jesus has the whole song in mind because that is what has been sown into His heart throughout the years.
outing¨†and†are†singing†Christmas†songs¨†when†all†the†sudden†we†hear†the†car†they†are†riding†in†have†a†blowoutÆ
The fourth word from the cross is a magnificent word with a magnificent meaning for each of us even though we are not first century Jews. It is magnificent because we, too, are sowing things into the hearts of people all around us each day.
Ralphie’s†dad†gets†out†of†the†car†to†change†the†flat¨†and†his†mom†turns†to†Ralphie†and†suggests†that†he†go†and
The fourth word from the cross is a magnificent word with a magnificent meaning for each of us even though we are not first century Jews. It is magnificent because we, too, are sowing things into the hearts of people all around us each day.
help†his†dad†change†the†tireƆIt†was†intended†to†be†kind†of†a†father≠son†bonding†timeƆThe†dad†gives†Ralphie†the
What are you sowing into the hearts of your family?
job†of†holding†the†hubcap†where†his†dad†puts†the†¨†and†then†all†the†sudden†Ralphie†ends†up†messing†up†the
moment†with†his†dad†as†the†hubcap†and†lugnuts†from†the†tire†go†flying†when†the†tire†is†being†changedƆThat’s
Dad, what words are you sowing into the hearts of your kids that will come out overflowing when they go through seasons of suffering?
Wife, what words are you sowing into your husband when he loses his job and comes home to face you and his family? What words will overflow that you have been sowing into his heart?
when†the†“OH†NO”†moment†occursƆWe†don’t†hear†exactly†what†he†says¨†but†we†know†that†Ralphie†says†the
“Queen†Mother†of†all†Dirty†WordsÆ”†And†he†gets†in†so†much†trouble†when†he†gets†home†as†he†gets†his†mouth
Students, what words are you sowing into your parent’s lives? Do they know how you feel? Do they know how you appreciate them putting a roof over your head and clothes on your back and food in your belly or have you been sowing other words that tear them down?
Grandparents, are you sowing words of encouragement and wisdom into your kids and grandkids or are you sowing words that remind them that they are not doing life how you did it when you were there age?
washed†out†with†soapÆ
While†Ralphie’s†mom†interrogates†him†about†where†he†heard†that†“Queen†Mother†of†all†the†Dirty†Words”†in†the
Adults with aging parents, are you sowing words of appreciation, confidence, and love into your parents that allow them to sing the whole song of , or are you giving them just cause only to sing verse 1 because in reality, they do feel forsaken by their families?
Parents, do your kids have seeds sown into their hearts that remind them that whether or not they start on the team, make the team, get a hit, score a goal, make an error, get first chair, have a girlfriend, lots of friends or no friends, whether they are short or tall, skinny or fluffy, great skin or not so great skin, smart in school or not a straight-A student, no matter what: you love them for free? Do they know in their hearts that they don’t have to do the dance for you to get the hug from you? Do they know that and are you sowing those seeds into their lives on a day in and day out basis so that when the painful times of childhood and puberty hits and their little souls get flooded, what rises from the depths are the truths about how you see them and how much you love them?
first†place¨†he†blames†it†on†his†friend†SchwartzƆHowever¨†Ralphie†then†says¨†¢Now†I†had†heard†my†father†say
That may not make it all better, but it gives them hope that leads to a future.
that†word†every†day†of†my†lifeÆ¢
There is never a greater time than today to begin sowing seeds of truth, love and God’s word into the souls of your kids, your marriages, and your own lives. Jesus did that. And when His soul was flooded on the cross with the wrath of God, the song of overflowed from Him. That overflow led to your life and my life being rescued from sin, death, Satan and hell. Those are words worth sharing and sowing into the heart and life of other people. Who will you share these words of hope with this week?
It†was†his†father†who†had†sewn†that†word†into†Ralphießs†soul†over†timeƆWhen†his†life†got†filled†up†with†fear†and
anguish†in†the†tire≠changing≠lug≠nut≠losing†moment†with†his†dad¨†those†emotions†flooded†his†insides†and†what
was†deep†down†inside†of†his†heart†overflowed†out†of†his†mouthÆ
It†was†as†if†Ralphießs†dad†had†put†something†down†in†his†sonßs†soulª†when†his†insides†got†flooded†with†emotion
and†fear†in†that†moment¨†the†flood†that†poured†into†him†caused†those†sown†in†seeds†of†dirty†words†to†rise†to†the
top†and†then†overflow†out†of†his†mouthÆ
Jesus†said†it†like†this¨
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¢Out†of†the†overflow†of†the†heart¨†the†mouth†speaksÆ¢†Matthew†12∫34¨†®NIV©
As†we†consider†the†fourth†word†from†the†cross¨†listen†to†it†and†look†at†it†through†that†lens∫†“out†of†the†overflow
of†the†heart†the†mouth†speaksÆ”†What†we†hear†Jesus†say†during†this†moment†on†the†cross†is†what†is†surfacing
from†the†depths†of†His†heart†and†soul†as†He†is†being†flooded†on†the†inside†with†everything†that†was†in†the†cup
He†asked†His†Father†not†to†make†Him†drink†in†the†Garden†of†Gethsemane†the†night†beforeÆ
In†the†Garden†of†Gethsemane†Jesus†was†having†some†FaceTime†with†His†Heavenly†FatherƆHe†tells†His†Father
who†is†in†Heaven¨†“If†there†is†any†other†way†for†Me†to†rescue†the†world†from†sin¨†death¨†Satan¨†and†hell†besides
having†to†drink†what†is†in†this†cup¨†let’s†go†to†plan†“BÆ”†I†would†rather†not†drink†the†wrath†of†God†and†have†My
soul†flooded†with†the†sin†of†humanity†if†there†is†any†other†wayÆ”
And†God†the†Father†says¨†“There†is†no†other†wayƆIf†You†want†to†save†the†world¨†then†You†have†to†drink†the
cupÆ”
And†Jesus†says¨†“Not†My†will…but†Your†will†be†doneƆLet’s†do†it…I’ll†take†the†flooding†of†My†soul†if†it†means
We†get†FaceTime†with†humanity†throughout†eternityÆ”
The†scene†leading†to†the†fourth†word†from†the†cross†then†unfolds†in†Matthew†27∫35≠49Æ
“And†when†they†had†crucified†him¨†they†divided†his†garments†among†them†by†casting†lotsƆThen†they†sat
down†and†kept†watch†over†him†thereƆAnd†over†his†head¨†they†put†the†charge†against†him¨†which†read¨
“This†is†Jesus¨†the†King†of†the†JewsÆ”†Then†two†robbers†were†crucified†with†him¨†one†on†the†right†and
one†on†the†leftƆAnd†those†who†passed†by†derided†him¨†wagging†their†heads†and†saying¨†“You†who
would†destroy†the†temple†and†rebuild†it†in†three†days¨†save†yourself°†If†you†are†the†Son†of†God¨†come
down†from†the†crossÆ”†So†also†the†chief†priests¨†with†the†scribes†and†elders¨†mocked†him¨†saying¨†“He
saved†othersª†he†cannot†save†himselfƆHe†is†the†King†of†Israelª†let†him†come†down†now†from†the†cross¨
and†we†will†believe†in†himƆHe†trusts†in†Godª†let†God†deliver†him†now¨†if†he†desires†himƆFor†he†said¨†‘I
am†the†Son†of†GodÆ’”†And†the†robbers†who†were†crucified†with†him†also†reviled†him†in†the†same†wayÆ
Now†from†the†sixth†hour¨†there†was†darkness†over†all†the†land†until†the†ninth†hourƆAnd†about†the†ninth
hour†Jesus†cried†out†with†a†loud†voice¨†saying¨†“Eli¨†Eli¨†lema†sabachthaniø”†that†is¨†“My†God¨†my†God¨
why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†And†some†of†the†bystanders¨†hearing†it¨†said¨†“This†man†is†calling†ElijahÆ”
And†one†of†them†at†once†ran†and†took†a†sponge¨†filled†it†with†sour†wine¨†and†put†it†on†a†reed†and†gave†it
to†him†to†drinkƆBut†the†others†said¨†“Wait¨†let†us†see†whether†Elijah†will†come†to†save†himÆ”†Matthew
27∫35≠49†ESV
Notice†again†the†fourth†words†that†Jesus†cried†out†in†verse†46ø
“And†about†the†ninth†hour†Jesus†cried†out†with†a†loud†voice¨†saying¨†“Eli¨†Eli¨†lema†sabachthaniø”†that†is¨
“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†Matthew†27∫46
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It’s†hard†to†hear†Jesus†say†those†wordsƆAt†face†value¨†those†words†are†bothersomeƆThose†words†seem†to†go
against†the†nature†and†character†of†who†we†understand†God†to†beƆNobody†really†wants†to†think†about†God
being†a†God†who†might†turns†His†back†on†someoneƆI†don’t†want†to†think†about†God†leaving†me†when†I†need
Him†the†mostÆ
However¨†I†do†love†the†fact†that†Jesus†seems†to†be†one†who†if†you†asked†Him†in†the†moment†when†He†is†in†his
deepest†pain¨†“How’s†everything†going¨†Jesusø”†He†isn’t†one†who†just†goes¨†“FineƆFineƆEverything’s†just
fineÆ”
We†do†that†sometimesÆ
Someone†asks¨†“How’s†it†goingø”
We†respond¨†“FineÆ”
However¨†things†may†be†everything†but†“FineÆ”†On†the†inside†what†we†really†feel†like†saying†is∫†“I†feel
forsakenƆMy†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†That’s†basically†what†Martha†said†to†Jesus†when†her
brother†died¨†and†Jesus†showed†up†two†days†laterƆ“Jesus¨†I†feel†like†you†have†forsaken†me°”
There†is†something†refreshing†and†appealing†in†that†Jesus†is†the†God†who†gets†raw¨†real†and†honest†as†He†shares
what’s†in†the†depths†of†His†soulƆWhen†the†wrath†of†God†began†to†flow†from†the†cup†into†His†life¨†what
overflows†out†of†the†mouth†of†Jesus†is†what†had†been†sown†into†the†heart†of†Jesus†for†years†and†years†and†yearsÆ
“My†God¨†My†God…WHY†HAVE†YOU†FORSAKEN†MEø”
Let’s†explore†what†it†means†that†these†words†were†sown†into†the†heart†of†Jesus†for†years†and†years†and†yearsƆIt
goes†back†to†the†school†curriculum†for†Jewish†boys†in†the†first†centuryƆTheir†school†work†was†to†memorize
sections†of†the†Old†TestamentÆ
The†Old†Testament¨†from†Genesis†to†Malachi¨†was†what†was†sown†into†their†hearts†and†lives†from†a†very†young
ageƆJesus†was†a†Jewish†boy†who†would†have†had†the†Old†Testament†sown†into†His†soul¨†heart¨†and†lifeƆWhen
Jesus†cries†out†from†the†cross¨†“My†God¨†My†God†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†What†is†overflowing†from†the
depths†of†His†heart†is†the†first†line†from†a†Psalm†that†He†would†have†memorized†and†had†sown†into†His†soul
from†the†early†years†of†His†lifeÆ
“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø†Why†are†you†so†far†from†saving†me¨†from†the†words†of
my†groaningø”†Psalm†22∫1
The†fourth†word†from†the†cross†that†Jesus†cries†out†are†the†lyrics†to†a†song†He†would†have†memorized†that†were
deep†in†His†soulƆPsalm†22†is†known†as†a†song†of†lamentƆIt†was†a†song†that†people†would†sing†and†say†when
they†were†in†a†time†of†sufferingƆMost†Jews†in†Jesus’†day†would†have†recognized†and†known†this†songƆThis†is
the†song†people†sang†when†they†were†experiencing†pain†in†their†livesÆ
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It†is†interesting†that†in†our†day¨†the†song†people†often†turn†to†and†even†memorize†is†Psalm†23ƆHowever¨†few
people†likely†memorize†Psalm†22Æ
Psalm†22†has†at†least†two†partsƆThe†first†part†of†the†Psalm†is†about†all†the†pain¨†suffering†and†feelings†of
abandonmentƆHowever¨†halfway†through†the†Psalm¨†it†shifts†from†pain†and†suffering†to†hope†and†what’s
coming†around†the†corner∫†The†Kingdom†of†God†and†a†new†day†when†God†will†deliver†His†people†and†bring
forth†a†victory†worth†celebrating†throughout†the†agesÆ
Jesus†had†the†whole†song†in†mind†just†as†His†contemporaries†would†have†on†that†dayƆSome†songs†are†just†the
songs†you†sing†at†different†occasionsƆOn†your†birthday†you†sing∫†HAPPY†BIRTHDAYƆOn†Christmas†Eve†at
the†Candlelight†Service†you†sing∫†SILENT†NIGHTƆOn†New†Year’s†Eve†after†the†clock†strikes†midnight†you
sing∫†AULD†LANG†SYNEƆDuring†the†7th†inning†stretch†of†a†baseball†game†you†sing∫†TAKE†ME†OUT†TO
THE†BALLGAMEÆ
And†in†the†first†century†when†a†Jewish†person†was†in†the†midst†of†suffering†and†pain¨†the†song†that†overflows
from†the†depths†of†their†heart†was†Psalm†22†which†starts†out∫†“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”
That†may†be†strange†as†twenty≠first≠century†people†living†with†a†more†modern≠day†mindset†and†cultureÆ
However¨†it†was†not†foreign†to†a†first≠century†Jewish†person†who†had†an†ancient†near†eastern†mindset†and
Hebrew†cultural†contextƆWhat†may†be†strange†to†some†people†and†cultures†in†the†twenty≠first†century†not†only
is†normal†to†a†first†century†Jew†living†in†Israel†but†also†was†packed†full†of†“OH†WOW”†moments†for†those†at
the†cross†that†dayÆ
What†a†first≠century†Jewish†person†might†have†been†thinking†about†when†they†heard†Jesus†saying†those†fourth
magnificent†words†from†the†cross†that†were†overflowing†from†His†heart†because†they†had†been†sown†into†His
heart†were†more†than†what†we†first†realizeƆWe†don’t†realize†that†often†when†first†century†Jewish†Rabbi’s†would
quote†a†line†from†a†Psalm¨†such†as†Jesus†does†here†on†the†cross†when†he†quotes†Psalm†22∫1∫
“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†Psalm†22∫1
Although†he†may†only†be†quoting†the†first†line†of†the†song¨†a†first†century†Rabbi†would†have†the†whole†Psalm†in
mindƆThus¨†what†may†only†look†like†Jesus†crying†out†to†His†Father†that†He†is†abandoning†Him†in†his†time†of
need¨†Jesus†likely†had†a†bigger†picture†in†mindƆHe†knew†another†lyric†to†the†song†in†His†heart†that†did†not†get
sung†out†loud¨†but†that†was†in†His†heart¨†nonethelessƆRabbis†in†Jesus’†day†didn’t†always†say†the†whole†PsalmÆ
They†often†only†would†sing†the†first†verse†even†when†they†had†the†whole†song†in†mindÆ
To†be†clear¨†Jesus†does†not†explicitly†tell†us†what†He†is†thinking†in†this†moment†on†the†crossƆHowever¨†it†is
reasonable†to†believe†Jesus†absolutely†felt†abandoned†in†that†momentƆHe†was†being†honest†in†that†momentƆHe
didn’t†say†everything†was†fineƆThe†words†of†the†song†not†only†overflowed†out†of†His†heart†and†mouth†but†also¨
they†resonated†with†his†emotionsƆRegardless¨†He†didn’t†only†have†verse†one†from†Psalm†22†sown†into†His
heartÆ
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He†had†the†whole†song†in†His†heart†and†mindƆAnd†there†are†things†in†this†Psalm†that†echo†what†we†read†in†the
Matthew†27†passage†that†we†see†unfolding†at†the†cross†when†Jesus†is†being†crucifiedƆIt’s†listening†to†verse†one
of†the†Psalm†in†light†of†the†whole†Psalm†that†makes†the†fourth†words†from†the†cross†so†utterly†magnificentÆ
Jesus†echoes†this†Psalm¨†written†by†David†when†he†was†going†through†a†time†of†suffering†in†his†life¨†because
this†was†the†song†people†sang†when†they†were†suffering†in†that†dayƆLook†at†some†of†these†things†in†Psalm†22
that†connect†back†with†the†cross†scene†beyond†verse†1Æ
“All†who†see†me†mock†meª†they†make†mouths†at†meª†they†wag†their†headsª
“He†trusts†in†the†LORDª†let†him†deliver†himª†let†him†rescue†him¨†for†he†delights†in†him°”†Psalm†22∫7≠8
When†it†says†in†verse†16…
“For†dogs†encompass†meª†a†company†of†evildoers†encircles†meª†they†have†pierced†my†hands†and†feet—I
can†count†all†my†bones—they†stare†and†gloat†over†meª†they†divide†my†garments†among†them¨†and†for
my†clothing†they†cast†lotsÆ”†Psalm†22∫16≠18
Look†how†these†last†verses†end†with†such†hope¨†victory†and†perspective†about†what†is†coming†at†the†end†of†the
sufferingƆIt†has†the†rest†of†the†story†that†Jesus¨†His†contemporaries†and†all†in†that†day†who†would†have†gone
through†tough¨†painful†and†suffering†times†would†have†been†singing†and†holding†on†to†what†was†sown†into†their
hearts†at†young†agesÆ
“All†the†ends†of†the†earth†shall†remember†and†turn†to†the†LORD¨†and†all†the†families†of†the†nations†shall
worship†before†youƆFor†kingship†belongs†to†the†LORD¨†and†he†rules†over†the†nationsƆAll†the
prosperous†of†the†earth†eat†and†worshipª†before†him†shall†bow†all†who†go†down†to†the†dust¨†even†the†one
who†could†not†keep†himself†aliveƆPosterity†shall†serve†himª†it†shall†be†told†of†the†Lord†to†the†coming
generationª†they†shall†come†and†proclaim†his†righteousness†to†a†people†yet†unborn¨†that†he†has†done†itÆ”
Psalm†22∫27≠31
Don’t†miss†that†“OH†WOW”†moment†at†the†end†of†verse†31∫†“that†HE†HAS†DONE†ITÆ”†Another†way†to†say
those†final†words∫†IT†IS†FINISHED°†That†is†the†sixth†word†from†the†cross†we†will†look†at†in†the†coming†weeksÆ
When†Jesus†cried†out†from†the†cross†the†first†line†from†Psalm†22¨†“My†God¨†My†God†why†have†you†forsaken
me¨”†He†had†the†whole†Psalm†planted†in†His†soulƆWe†hear†the†first†lyric¨†but†He†knows†that†there†is†more†to
that†songƆIn†the†end¨†Jesus†is†the†suffering†servant†who†is†fulfilling†everything†the†Scriptures†said†would
happenƆAs†a†twenty≠first†century†reader¨†we†likely†do†not†see†all†that†is†going†on†like†a†first≠century†Jewish
person†would†have†understoodÆ
Matthew†wrote†this†gospel†primarily†with†a†Jewish†audience†in†mindƆAnd†the†things†Matthew†includes†in†his
gospel†account†of†the†crucifixion†would†have†connected†on†a†cultural†level†with†his†first≠century†Jewish
audienceÆ
Whyø
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Because†they†had†the†Old†Testament†seeds†sown†into†their†souls†as†wellƆThus¨†when†the†religious†leaders†of†the
day†are†standing†around†the†cross†watching†this†unfold†and†listening†to†what†Jesus†says¨†they†see†prophecy
unfold†right†before†their†eyesÆ
For†example¨†when†Jesus†says†the†fourth†words∫
“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†Psalm†22∫1
As†Jewish†people†who†knew†that†Psalm†and†had†it†sown†into†their†hearts¨†too¨†they†would†have†been†connecting
with†those†other†lyrics†in†the†songƆThey†would†have†linked†the†words†that†talk†about†the†mocking†and†letting
God†deliver†Him†and†the†language†about†the†pierced†hands†and†feet†and†the†dividing†His†garments†by†casting
lots†that†we†just†read†aboveƆThe†Jewish†religious†leaders†of†the†day†around†the†cross†would†have†been
connecting†the†dots†and†viewing†it†all†through†the†lens†of†prophecyÆ
And†in†Matthew†27∫45†when†it†says∫
“Now†from†the†sixth†hour¨†there†was†darkness†over†all†the†land†until†the†ninth†hourÆ”†Matthew†27∫45
In†the†first†century¨†they†counted†time†from†the†hour†the†sun†came†up†until†it†went†downƆThus¨†the†sixth†hour
until†the†ninth†hour†would†translate†from†noon†to†3†pmƆTherefore¨†just†after†lunch†when†the†sky†goes†dark†and
about†3†pm†when†Jesus†starts†overflowing†on†the†cross†with†the†words†from†Psalm†22¨†they†would†have†looked
around†and†not†just†seen†the†dark†skies¨†they†also†would†have†seen†the†words†of†the†prophets†coming†trueÆ
In†the†Old†Testament¨†when†God†brings†darkness†over†the†land¨†it†is†a†sign†of†judgmentƆBecause†the†Old
Testament†would†have†been†sown†into†these†Jewish†people’s†hearts†watching†this†cross†event†unfold†when†the
sky†turns†black¨†what†begins†to†rise†in†their†hearts†and†minds†are†passages†like†Exodus†10†and†Amos†8†where†it
says∫
“Then†the†LORD†said†to†Moses¨†“Stretch†out†your†hand†toward†heaven¨†that†there†may†be†darkness†over
the†land†of†Egypt¨†a†darkness†to†be†feltÆ”†So†Moses†stretched†out†his†hand†toward†heaven¨†and†there†was
pitch†darkness†in†all†the†land†of†Egypt†three†daysÆ”†Exodus†10∫21≠22
Judgment†is†being†personified†by†the†darkness†over†the†landƆNotice†similar†language†in†Amos†8∫
“And†on†that†day¨”†declares†the†Lord†GOD¨†“I†will†make†the†sun†go†down†at†noon†and†darken†the†earth
in†broad†daylightƆI†will†turn†your†feasts†into†mourning†and†all†your†songs†into†lamentationª†I†will†bring
sackcloth†on†every†waist†and†baldness†on†every†headª†I†will†make†it†like†the†mourning†for†an†only†son
and†the†end†of†it†like†a†bitter†dayÆ”†Amos†8∫9≠10
The†first≠century†Jewish†person†sees†things†happening†in†this†account†that†twenty≠first≠century†people†may†not
noticeƆWe†often†don’t†get†past∫†“My†God¨†my†God¨†why†have†you†forsaken†meø”†However¨†Jesus†has†the
whole†song†in†mind†because†that†is†what†has†been†sown†into†His†heart†throughout†the†yearsÆ
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The†fourth†word†from†the†cross†is†a†magnificent†word†with†a†magnificent†meaning†for†each†of†us†even†though
we†are†not†first†century†JewsƆIt†is†magnificent†because†we¨†too¨†are†sowing†things†into†the†hearts†of†people†all
around†us†each†dayÆ
What†are†you†sowing†into†the†hearts†of†your†familyø
Dad¨†what†words†are†you†sowing†into†the†hearts†of†your†kids†that†will†come†out†overflowing†when†they†go
through†seasons†of†sufferingø
Wife¨†what†words†are†you†sowing†into†your†husband†when†he†loses†his†job†and†comes†home†to†face†you†and†his
familyø†What†words†will†overflow†that†you†have†been†sowing†into†his†heartø
Students¨†what†words†are†you†sowing†into†your†parent’s†livesø†Do†they†know†how†you†feelø†Do†they†know
how†you†appreciate†them†putting†a†roof†over†your†head†and†clothes†on†your†back†and†food†in†your†belly†or†have
you†been†sowing†other†words†that†tear†them†downø
Grandparents¨†are†you†sowing†words†of†encouragement†and†wisdom†into†your†kids†and†grandkids†or†are†you
sowing†words†that†remind†them†that†they†are†not†doing†life†how†you†did†it†when†you†were†there†ageø
Adults†with†aging†parents¨†are†you†sowing†words†of†appreciation¨†confidence¨†and†love†into†your†parents†that
allow†them†to†sing†the†whole†song†of†Psalm†22¨†or†are†you†giving†them†just†cause†only†to†sing†verse†1†because
in†reality¨†they†do†feel†forsaken†by†their†familiesø
Parents¨†do†your†kids†have†seeds†sown†into†their†hearts†that†remind†them†that†whether†or†not†they†start†on†the
team¨†make†the†team¨†get†a†hit¨†score†a†goal¨†make†an†error¨†get†first†chair¨†have†a†girlfriend¨†lots†of†friends†or†no
friends¨†whether†they†are†short†or†tall¨†skinny†or†fluffy¨†great†skin†or†not†so†great†skin¨†smart†in†school†or†not†a
straight≠A†student¨†no†matter†what∫†you†love†them†for†freeø†Do†they†know†in†their†hearts†that†they†don’t†have†to
do†the†dance†for†you†to†get†the†hug†from†youø†Do†they†know†that†and†are†you†sowing†those†seeds†into†their†lives
on†a†day†in†and†day†out†basis†so†that†when†the†painful†times†of†childhood†and†puberty†hits†and†their†little†souls
get†flooded¨†what†rises†from†the†depths†are†the†truths†about†how†you†see†them†and†how†much†you†love†themø
That†may†not†make†it†all†better¨†but†it†gives†them†hope†that†leads†to†a†futureÆ
There†is†never†a†greater†time†than†today†to†begin†sowing†seeds†of†truth¨†love†and†God’s†word†into†the†souls†of
your†kids¨†your†marriages¨†and†your†own†livesƆJesus†did†thatƆAnd†when†His†soul†was†flooded†on†the†cross
with†the†wrath†of†God¨†the†song†of†Psalm†22†overflowed†from†HimƆThat†overflow†led†to†your†life†and†my†life
being†rescued†from†sin¨†death¨†Satan†and†hellƆThose†are†words†worth†sharing†and†sowing†into†the†heart†and†life
of†other†peopleƆWho†will†you†share†these†words†of†hope†with†this†weekø
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