Not a lot of preface to this one. Let’s just say it reveals God’s inpiration of the scriptures, and demonstrates the value of careful study. I call it:

FlashBack to the Future - A study on the connection between Matt 27 and Psalm 22 - a Messianic prophecy.

Matt 27:33-50
33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, 34
they gave Him wine to drink mingled with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to
drink. 35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves,
casting lots; 36 and sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37 And they
put up above His head the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF
THE JEWS.”
38 At that time two robbers were crucified with Him,
one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him,
wagging their heads, 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and
rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the
cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders,
were mocking Him, and saying, 42 “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the
King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. 43
“He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said,
‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers also who had been crucified with Him were
casting the same insult at Him.
45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And
about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ” Eli, Eli, lama
sabachthani? “that is,” My God , My God , why hast Thou forsaken Me? ” 47
And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This
man is calling for Elijah.” 48 And immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge,
he filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest
of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus
cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Matthew does not give us a very detailed description of the crucifixion. Jesus said a
number of things from the cross, among them, the following, as reported by Luke:

Luke 23:34
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:43

“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise .”

Luke 23:46

“Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed
His last.

You are probably familiar with these sayings, and their contexts. I am assuming that Matthew, had a reason for leaving these sayings out, he surely was aware of them, or perhaps God had a reason for Matthew omitting them.  So, what reason could Matthew have for focusing on the saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”? Could it be that there is something here, that is more important, of a differing importance? Is Jesus, in crying out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” experiencing a moment of doubt? Is His faith wavering? Does there seem to be an element of accusation in these words?

It is clear, from Jesus’ conversations with his disciples, that He fully understood His mission. He knew that He was to die, He knew it would be hard, and He knew it had to be done.  Jesus did not doubt, whatever does not come from faith, is sin, and Jesus never sinned:

Rom 1:17
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,
“But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Jesus was always a righteous man, He always lived by faith.

Rom 14:23
23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith ; and
whatever is not from faith is sin.

Jesus never sinned, so everything He did, He did not do in doubt. He was tempted, but never sinned.

Heb 4:15
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who
has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin .

We can see, that Jesus was not doubting at all, so why did He ask why God was forsaking Him?

I think the answer lies not in the content of what He was saying, but the source of the saying. I think also, you will see why Matthew thought this saying was uniquely important.

Time for a flashback:

Ps 22:1 says:

My God, my God , why hast Thou forsaken me?

Sound familiar? That is right, Jesus is quoting the words of a Psalm, why would He do that, why this psalm? When Jesus was crucified, He was crucified in Jerusalem, in the land of Israel, the homeland of the children of Abraham, God’s chosen people, the keepers of the written word of God. A Jew, on that day, might upon hearing those words, know the
source, that they came from this Psalm. The more learned ones, may even have been able to recall the context of the words and gone over them in their minds. If so, what would they recall?

Ps 22:6-8
6 But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7 All who see me sneer at me;They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,

8 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

Compare the words above with those of Matthew:

39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him,
wagging their heads,

43 “He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now,
if He takes pleasure in Him

See any similarities? Do you think it is possible, that some of those present, might have noticed this? I think that is possible, even likely. Perhaps, some went home, deeply troubled by the events that had just unfolded. They would never forget this. Perhaps some would take the trouble to examine this Psalm, when they had the opportunity, What else would they have seen?

Ps 22:12-18
12 Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.

13 They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

In the above passage, we see this person surrounded by strong aggressive men, snarling at Him (dogs, by the way, was a pejorative term referring to gentiles), while He is poured out like water, His strength waning, his bones being pulled apart, heart is under stress, thirsting, and recognizing that He is about to die. While in this condition, the evil surround Him, having pierced His hands and feet. He can sense each of His bones in the agony, and while people are gawking at Him, those at His feet, gamble and divide His clothes.

I would like to think, that if I were a Jew at that time, having witnessed this spectacle, that when I read this passage in the Psalm, I would have said: “Oh my God, I witnessed this that day. I was there, the words of this Psalm, were fulfilled in my presence”. I would hope, that I would have fallen to my knees, and begged for mercy. I suspect, that many did. I also suspect, that as Matthew’s gospel was spread, that there would be those who read it, who may also have been here that day, or been close to the events, who also would have had this reaction, I am confident, that those who were permitted to realize the significance, would also have sought God’s forgiveness, and received it, as people have through the centuries since.

One from that time, would have seen something else in that Psalm:

Ps 22:27-31
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before Thee.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s, And He rules over the nations.

29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.

30 Posterity will serve Him; It will be told of the LORD to the coming generation.

31 They will come and will declare His righteousness To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.

Pictured in the above passage of that psalm, we see the prediction that the church, that is to say that the future believers, who are gentiles, will turn from their pagan gods to the one true God. Of course, this turning to the Lord, was accomplished because the Messiah died for all men, and the faithfulness of Jesus apostles, in spreading the good news, led to the adoption of the gentiles, into the family of God, making the promise to Abraham come to fullness.

Gen 28:14
14 Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to
the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your
descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

It is my belief, that Jesus quoted this psalm, not in any doubt about His Father’s faithfulness, but was indeed making a powerful statement. It is as though He were saying, “look to the scriptures, you will see this, and you will know I AM He. ” We can look today, and see this is clearly a prophecy, and a fulfillment. I believe, that this was a sign to believers, to the faithful, that they should be reassured, that the Son of Man, was supposed to die, something they were not expecting to happen to the Messiah, when He came. Otherwise, when Jesus died, they might doubt, and look for another as Messiah. This was NOT a sign to convince the unbelievers, they were to get a different sign, one more powerful than this one.

In Luke 23:46, we saw Jesus breathe His last. Those close to Jesus, were in despair, devastated, disillusioned. Although Jesus told them, repeatedly that He would be soon dying, it  was not enough, they were ready to give up, and try to put this all behind them as if it was only a terrible nightmare. They didn’t understand some things that Jesus told them. So, they hurriedly put Jesus in a tomb, and went away in their grief. To mere men, the grave appears to be the end.  Jesus was no mere man. Remember I told you that the unbelievers would get a more powerful sign?

Matt 12:39-42
“An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given
to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three
nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth. 41 “The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this
generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of
Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 “The Queen of the South
shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came
from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater
than Solomon is here.

Jesus has here, predicted his death, burial and resurrection, and stated that this is the only sign He would give those included in the evil generation. We tend to think of a generation as a group of people born at approximately the same time. In Greek, is can mean that, or the age in which a generation lives, or a race of people. I have no idea which is implied here. The sign given to this generation, would be Jesus’ resurrection after being in the earth 3 days. What Jesus went on to say, I think is very powerful, that Ninevah, would stand up (Greek anasteésontai, from the same root word that we understand as resurrection) with this generation, and condemn it at the judgement, because they repented and mere preaching of a prophet, but this generation did not believe, when the Son of God was among them, fulfilling prophecies and performing miracles.

The resurrection is a powerful idea. All people have a common enemy, one that we cannot defeat. That enemy is death. People are born with a survival instinct. What people do not stop to consider, is that death is inevitable, and that the answer to the issue of survival, is to be able to survive after death. How would one know, if that were possible? The only real evidence that would at all be convincing, would be for some one to die and return back to life from the dead. They could not die as in having ones heart stop for a few minutes, that is not convincing, but really dead, all life functions long gone, cold on a slab kind of dead. If I am going to listen to someone tell me that there is a life after death, I want his source of information to come from someone who has been there, that is authority.

Where did the power come from for this resurrection?

Father

Acts 2:23-25
23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed
to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “AndGod raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Son

John 10:14-18
14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 even as the
Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 “And
I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall
hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. 17 “For this reason
the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.

Holy Spirit ?

Rom 8:11
11 But if theSpirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised
Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit
who indwells you.

Amen to that, what a great verse! There we see the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, also dwells in the believer, giving life to our mortal (temporary and subject to death) bodies. What does this mean to us? We started at the Crucifixion, and went backward to see a detailed prophecy concerning it, back forward again to the resurrection. We stopped there to see a small detail about the power of and behind the resurrection. Since tomorrow is resurrection Sunday, you will hear plenty about the resurrection itself. Now, it is time to go forward again to our present, to examine it’s significance to our lives today.

The resurrection is the very core of our belief as Christians.

1 Cor 15:12-19
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you
say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the
dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

It that passage Paul asserts that if the resurrection did not occur, then you are living your life in vain, with no chance of an afterlife, and, in fact, you are a liar about God and still lost in your sins. Not only is the fact of the resurrection necessary for for your afterlife, so is your belief in the resurrection:

Rom 10:7-10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”
— that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

This brings to life another important part of our walk, one that is ignored by too many, failure in this area, can never be justified if you are able. We need to confess not only for our own salvation, but we are to love others, as a responsibility to God, a small thing which He expects from us. Evangelism. Many do not do this, because they are shy, unconfident, not used to being pushy, or any number of other reasons. If God asks this of you, on what basis can you possibly refuse? We are told to love others as God also loved us. He loved us enough to die for us, but many of us, do not love Him enough to tell others about Him. Instead of loving our neighbors, we demonstrate contempt for them.

By not telling them of our Savior, we are in effect saying, that we would rather have them spend eternity in torment, than for us to be uncomfortable for a few moments. What could be more selfish? What is more important than a soul, for whom Jesus died? It boggles the mind, that the church treats others this way. Yes, I am guilty too.

Rom 10:13-15
13 for “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then
shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him
whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall
they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet
of those who bring glad tidings of good things!”

I put this part about evangelism for one simple reason. As I was researching the preparing for this study, I kept coming across evangelistic passages. It was not in my plan to include it, but I could not steer through the passages in a way that avoided it. So, I took the hint and decided that is was not to be avoided. Those passages are there to
be read and to be accepted. Just as it would be unloving to not tell someone about the Savior, it would be unloving of me, to not encourage you to spread the word. Evangelism, is what a good and faithful servant does above all else. Christ didn’t die, to hear more worship songs. He didn’t die, so institutions would have more money given. He did not die, so people would do acts of charity. He did not die, so people would study the Bible. He died to save the lost. He died for us, and for everyone whom we have not told about Him.

After you attend your next church service, if not before, I’d ask you to consider, what Christ did for
you. After meditating on that, ask yourself, “What am I willing to do for Him?”.
Finally, consider following through on your answer.

May God richly bless you as you follow the Son.   

Postscript:

That was the end of the study. However, after I gave this study, two attendees asked me if I knew about the worm. ”

Know about the worm? What are you talking about?”

“You know, the worm in the psalm, the one where it says “I am a worm, and no man!”

They told be some things about some worm, which I found a bit unlikely, but being an investigator at heart, I looked into it. It was an interesting investigation.You can read it here. Again, just another evidence of the inspiration of scripture. I call it "The Gospel in a Bug". It is much shorter than this was, thanks for sticking it out, if you made it this far. - Omegaman

Also, there are some videos in the Videos Section, if you would rather watch and listen, than read. http://omegazine.com/videos/