Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Seven Last Words: My God, My God

Heli Heli lema sabacthani hoc est Deus meus Deus meus ut quid dereliquisti me

Ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι; τοῦτ' ἔστιν, Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες;

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
St Matthew xxvii.46

His faith in His Father is shaken. The final Temptation. The last attempt at diabolical forces to claim victory over God and the world as a Satanic prize. Whither can a dying man go who is gripped by the fear that all he believed, taught and invested in is worthless, empty, black? Psalm xxi(i) is surely the only place.
It speaks the truth about Jesus' present situation: pierced hands and feet, mocking mouths agape, clothes gambled for. And how He knows the truth of these words written nearly a millennium earlier!
But in remembering this psalm, the Lord cannot lose heart for it does not end in dereliction as some psalms do.

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him

Even on the cross, the Lord can find solace in the Scriptures, just as He did when tempted in the wilderness. The final temptations are just as futile.

As is Death.

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