Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lamenting the Crucifixion

In which book is it prophesied “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”? Psalm (22:1)

At the ninth hour (3 PM) on the day he was crucified, Jesus cries out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34, NASB). To accent this exclamation, Matthew and Mark leave his words in the original Aramaic. Jesus was not merely groaning but also quoting the opening lines of the 22nd Psalm.
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. (Psalm 22:1, NASB)
Psalm 22 has numerous striking parallels to the crucifixion of Jesus. In his “Images of Jesus” class at the University of Tennessee, David Dungan (1936-2008) assigned students the task of drawing as many parallels as possible between the Psalm and the crucifixion.

How many parallels do you see? What do you make of the connection between the psalm and the crucifixion?

Some have speculated that in citing the Psalm’s initial verse, Jesus intended to relay the entire Psalm’s content. Psalm 22 is classified as a psalm of lament and like almost all psalms of that genre, the psalmist begins in gloom and ends in hope.

Do you think Jesus intended to reference the entire Psalm or just its initial verse? Why?

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