Eli Eli... They Pierced My Hands and My Feet!
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Matthew 27
Jesus' words are a direct quote from the Messianic psalm 22. A thousand years before the coming of the Christ, the psalmist King David wrote:
As Christian apologists explain to our Muslim counterparts, Jesus shouted those same words from a cross which the Romans had erected at a spot which they had specifically chosen for its visibility to the many who were coming in and out of Jerusalem during the Feast of Passover.
Where the Roman Empire had sought to make an example of Jesus by displaying His battered and bloodied body where the greatest number of Jews would be forced to see Him, Jesus Himself used it as a platform to proclaim the message that their Messiah had come, and that salvation for all was about to be secured through His sacrifice.
Psalm 22 describes the agony Yeshua the Messiah endured both prior to and during His crucifixion, but the last portion of one verse sticks out because in it David says something he could never have imagined...
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
"They pierced my hands and my feet."
David wrote those words about 400 years before crucifixion had even been invented by the Persians. It would be almost 1,000 years before the Romans would refine it and turn it into one of the most evil and torturous methods of execution known to man.
Only then would it be used on Messiah.
David may not have known that he was prophesying about a very specific method of torture which would be used to murder his Lord. But he knew full well how the story would end, because he wrote:
27 All the ends of the earth will remember
and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations
will bow down before You,
28 for kingship belongs to the Lord;
He rules over the nations.
29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down;
all those who go down to the dust
will kneel before Him— even the one who cannot preserve his life.
30 Their descendants will serve Him;
the next generation will be told about the Lord.
31 They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness— what He has done.
Three days after His agonizing death, Jesus rose again from the grave, just as He had promised.
And just as David had prophesied, one generation of believers after another tells others about the Lord...
about His righteousness...
and about what He has done!
With thanks to Dr. Michael Brown, whose podcasts at thelineoffire.org are a regular source of inspiration for these blog posts.
Why Did Jesus Shout, "My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?" at the Cross?
Jesus, the Cross and the Megaphone
Was Jesus Crucified?
Who Said Messiah Would Go to the Cross?