The Last Words of Jesus on the Cross
Mark 15:34 NIV
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”
(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
I have often wondered about Jesus questioning God about forsaking him. To be honest, it’s bothered me, so I decided to look it up more in depth. I didn’t realize there is so much controversy about what the last words of Jesus really were and meant.
Jesus spoke Aramaic, so the the Greek texts give a transliteration of the Aramaic words and then translates them back into Greek. In Mark 15:35 it says that a bystander misunderstood what he said, thinking Yeshua (Jesus) was calling for Elijah.
As I was studying these verses, I found a word study and explanation that makes a lot of sense. If you are interested in finding out more, I’ve put links to part 1and 2 of the Biblical Hebrew Professor, Chaim Bentorah, posts about it. Bentorah’s explanation is similar to the footnotes found in The Passion Translation: Mark 15:34 footnote g – Psalm 22:1, 42:9. The Aramaic can be translated “For this purpose you have spared me.” Footnote h – Perhaps they misunderstood because the Aramaic word Eli sounds similar to the name Elijah.”
“So let me offer this Easter message to you from just one of many understandings of the words from the lips of Jesus in His adopted native language of the Old Galilean Aramaic, Eloi Eloi Lema Sabachthani which being interpreted means, “Listen to my heart, this is my destiny. This is why I came to earth in human form and that is to die to give you eternal life.”
“So perhaps another way to express this is Jesus saying, Eloi, Eloi, “Listen to my heart (and my Father’s heart) I am on this cross for a purpose more important than Myself.”
Chaim Bentorah’s explanation of Jesus’ last words make sense to me. It seems like the Western way of thinking and communicating is so linear it doesn’t often allow for layered and diverse meaning. It could be that Jesus felt abandoned or forsaken, carrying the literal weight of the sin of the world on his shoulders. After all, he was fully man. At the same time, Jesus being fully God, could know the way of the cross had an enormous purpose: his sacrifice could actually redeem humanity, conquer death, and give us hope for resurrection life.
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Ideas for scroll and banner headings for theme pages in an everyday journal:
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A surprise that led to an animal of the year:
“Why Journal? The Benefits of Journaling” . In addition to the post contents, check out the comments. People have contributed great reasons for journal keeping.
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