Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 9 September 2014
Page 6

My God, My God, Why
Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

George Jensen

George JensenSeven sayings which Jesus spoke while on the cross have been recorded in the New Testament. The last four were spoken between noon and 3:00 p.m. (Luke 23:44) when darkness was over the land. We shall consider His fourth saying.

Matthew wrote Jesus’ words in the Hebrew language: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46), while Mark recorded the saying in an Aramaic dialect: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34). This question is translated as, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Some people erroneously thought He was calling for Elijah (Mark 15:35).

Two things about this question deserve our attention. First, as the bona fide Messiah, Jesus would fulfill every Scripture concerning Himself. The Savior’s words from the cross are a quotation from Psalm 22:1, which is a Messianic Psalm of David. Jesus was thoroughly acquainted with Old Testament Scripture. Remember how He freely used quotations in defense against the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1-11)? After His resurrection He said to His disciples, “all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44).

Second, there is a deeper significance to His question. No one needs to be told that our Lord suffered from the physical trauma to which His body was subjected. Even before the horrible crucifixion began, He was “scourged,” which was a brutal flogging that left the back lacerated and bruised (John 19:1). What can there be that was worse than the physical suffering?

The Lord’s question to His heavenly Father (Why have you forsaken me?), indicates that in some way He felt abandoned. The prophetic words penned by Isaiah might shed some light upon this difficulty. “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief…” (Isaiah 53:10). The Father obviously did not enjoy seeing His Son suffer, but He was pleased with the bruising and grief that would provide opportunity for mankind’s redemption. The punishment we deserve as payment for our sins is separation from God (Roman 6:23; cf. Isaiah 59:1, 2). It just may be that Jesus, in some sense, felt a separation from the Father. Such would certainly be a mental and a spiritual agony too terrible for us to imagine. The fact that “Jesus cried out with a loud voice” is indicative of extreme anguish of soul. The first Messianic prophecy was being fulfilled – the seed of woman (Christ) was being bruised (see Genesis 3:15). What gratitude are you showing for this suffering that was endured for you?

A Summary of the Bible

Royce Pendergrass

Royce PendergrassThere are some things one needs to carefully consider as one engages in a study of the Bible. This book which we are studying is not an ordinary book. It may affect us in one of two ways: (1) properly studied and applied, it will affect us for good in time and eternity, and (2) improper study of it will cause one to lose his or her soul.

The Bible is every man’s book. It is not intended for some special group. However, not only is the Bible every man’s book, it is written for the average person. Scholars may study it, but it is not written necessarily with scholars in mind. No one ever outgrows the Scriptures. The more one studies them, the wider and deeper they become. The Bible is a book that enables one to look into eternity. The best evidence of the inspiration of the Bible is to be found between its covers. No one will ever be a useful Christian unless one is a student of the Bible. Matthew Henry said, “The scriptures were written, not to make us astronomers but to make us saints.” It is no wonder that Paul urged Timothy to study the Scriptures, “rightly dividing” or handling aright the word of truth that he might be an approved workman before God.

The Bible is the greatest book in the world. It is the most accessible, and in it, one finds truth that can be found in no other book.

The Bible is the only book that can give a satisfactory explanation of God, the world, man, sin, salvation, service, life here and life hereafter.

The Bible acknowledges man’s faults; it is patient with man’s weaknesses. It is severe with man’s sins, and it is honest with his virtues and his hopes.

To own the Bible is to be rich. To study, to know and to trust the Bible is to find life. To study the Bible is to be wise, and to obey it is to be strong.

To know the Bible and to handle it aright is the greatest accomplishment within the reach of any person. One may know English, astronomy, literature, music, sociology and philosophy. Yet, if one does not know the Bible, he has failed in the only subject that brings all things into their proper relationship and that enables one to know life at its best.

The one who seeks to know the Bible will endeavor to study its content book by book, meet its characters as they unfold through the pages, study its types, its doctrine, its topics, paragraphs, sentences and words. This is a lifetime work.

The Bible is the one book that can save many a heartache. The following was found on the flyleaf of a Bible placed by the Gideons in a motel room: “May God bless the one who placed this book here. I am a young lady, 21-years-old, fatherless and motherless. Tonight this book saved me from taking a wrong step. May the next reader find in it the comfort that I did.”

There is no greater accomplishment in life than to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth. It is worth all the sacrifice that is necessary to give to such a study. One can never be great in the true sense of that word who does not know the Word, love it, live it, delight in it and teach it without perversion and without misrepresentation.

The one who studies this book and knows how to handle it is in a position to render the greatest service to the world. No wonder Paul told Timothy to study, to be a workman and to seek to be approved of God. There is no higher ambition on earth.

The Bible is a mirror that enables us to see ourselves. It is food which supplies the strength that we need, a lamp to guide our way, a hammer to break and to build, a sword to fight and to defend, the seed to plant and grow and the goal to own and to become our reward. There are no experiences in life for which the Bible does not furnish a passage.

May these thoughts lend encouragement to all of us to become diligent students of the Word, that we may know the way of life and find the life that is life indeed!

The above article was written by brother Franklin Camp, a renowned Gospel preacher, who is said to have studied the Bible for six hours a day for almost 50 years. He passed away in 1991. My challenge to you is that each of you read through the Bible this year. If this man could study the Bible for six hours every day, we can all read a few chapters daily. You will be a better person for having done so. May God bless your year of reading and studying His Word!

[Editor’s Note: An article of this nature usually appears in print around the commencement of a new year. However, it is always the right time to become more familiar with the Bible. After all, the holy, inspired Word of God is mankind’s roadmap in this life and from this world to eternity. Don’t get lost; don’t remain lost – become intimately familiar with the most important map – the Bible. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

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