Date: April 2011
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures… They are they which testify of Me. “ John 5:39”
Author: Bob Moses
The Seven Utterances of Jesus From the Cross
Fourth, The Word of Anguish! “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?” (Matt. 27:46).
One of the most abhorrent punishments of the ungodly is not a cease of existence but rather a separation from God. The Sciptures plainly reveal that the soul does not merely pass away, but that it becomes separated from God. Paul in his Epistle to the Thessalonians regarding those who know not God states; (ll Thess. 1:8 & 9) “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Note the emphasis, is separation from the “presence” of God. What we are witnessing in this fourth utterance, is the separation of Jesus the Christ from God the father, for three hours; the heavens were black, God had turned his back upon the sin which the Son had willingly accepted for His people. Thus His cry; “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?”
Let us borrow once again from my mentor; A.W. Pink. “The tragedy of Calvary must be view from at least four different viewpoints. At the Cross man did a work; he displayed his depravity by taking the Perfect One and with “wicked hands” nailed Him to the tree. At the Cross Satan did a work; he manifested his insatiable enmity against the woman’s seed by bruising His heel. At the Cross the Lord Jesus did a work; He died the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. At the Cross God did a work; He exhibited His holiness and satisfied His justice by pouring out His wrath on the One who was made sin for us.
What human pen is able or fit to write about the unsullied Holiness of God! So holy is God that mortal man cannot look upon Him in His essential Being, and live. So holy is God that the very heavens are not clean in His sight. So holy is God that even the seraphim veil their faces before Him. So holy is God that when Abraham stood before Him, He cried, “I am but dust and ashes” (Gen. 18:27). So holy is God that when Job came into His presence he said, “Wherefore I abhor myself” (Job. 42:6). So holy is God that when Isaiah had a vision of His glory he exclaimed. “Woe is me! For I am undone… for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:6). So holy is God that when Daniel beheld Him in theophanic manifestation he declared, “there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption” (Dan. 10:8). So holy is God that we are told, “He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Hab. 1:13). And it was because the Saviour was bearing our sins that the thrice holy God would not look on Him, turned His face from Him, forsook Him. The Lord made to meet on Christ the iniquities of us all: and our sins being on Him as our Substitute, the Divine wrath against our offenses must be spent upon our sin-offering.” (The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross; page’s; 70 & 71).
He was truly a man of “sorrows”. Even in His infancy, He had suffered from man. Herod, put out a decree to kill all children under the age of two, in order to wipe-out the new-born king. His parents must flee to Egypt to protect the Christ-child. Upon His baptism in the Jordan River, by the hand of John the Baptist, He was then led into the wilderness to confront the wiles and temptations of Satan. Then man once again enters the picture crying “crucify Him”. Then here at last, we see Him forsaken and suffering by the hand of God, the Father. It is interesting to note that no where in the Holy Canon do we see the Saviour laughing. I am certain that in some private moments He must have had a chuckle, or a smile, perhaps even a good laugh, but nowhere do we see it recorded. He is revealed to us merely as a man of “Sorrow”. Most interesting!!
We Christians place a great deal of emphasis upon “Faith”. This is a tenant inscribed upon almost every page of Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. It is noteworthy however to observe that in both the Young’s and Strong’s Concordance’s there are very few references to “faith” in the Old Testament and yet numerous in the New. How could this be? Very simply as we have observed before, the New Testament in enfolded in the Old and the Old is unfolded in the New. Thus we see in the New Testament that it was the “faith” of Abraham which led him to become the father of the Jewish nation. It was the “faith” of Noah which saved him from the destruction of the deluge. It was the “faith” of Enoch, which enabled him to be taken into heaven before the destruction of the world before Noah entered the ark. It was by “faith” that David confronted Goliath, it was by “faith” that Daniel entered the lion’s den, unafraid. It was by ”faith” that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were spared by the fire of the furnace, and smoke was not even smelled upon them nor singed their hair. (Dan. 3: 9 – 30).
So how do we see this “faith” manifested in Christ Jesus. He was indeed God Himself, in the flesh, what “faith” must He demonstrate. Most profoundly upon the Cross. Remember, He told the repentant malefactor today thou shalt be with me in paradise. He could not pardon this man’s sin as He was no longer upon the earth, but He had the Faith that the Father would fulfill His decree. Upon the Cross He had absolutely nothing to rest upon save His father’s covenant and promise; and in His cry of anguish, His faith is made manifest. It was a cry of distress, but not of distrust. He cried; “My God, My God”, when all visible and sensible comforts had disappeared, to the invisible support and refuge of His faith, did the Saviour betake Himself. He Himself, rested upon Faith! He must always lead the way through His the preeminence. You cannot trump Christ. He has most assuredly left us His example, it is through Faith that we become partakers of God and His Family.