The following is Part 10 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.
The ninth hour of the day is the final sacrifice of the day for the Jews. They offer one at 9:00 in the morning and one at 3:00 in the afternooon. Jesus went on the cross at 9:00 in the morning, and he died at 3:00 in the afternoon. Crazy coincidence? God puts the lamb on the cross at the first sacrifice, and the finality on the cross is at the last sacrifice of the day. For three hours He suffers in the dark.
“And at the ninth hour, 3 pm, Jesus cried with a loud voice saying, ‘….’”
Which is being interpreted as, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Matthew and Mark are the only ones who write, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Remarkably, they both write it in the Hebrew first.
Why does this need to be written in Hebrew? Do you realize that when Jesus was on this earth, He didn’t speak English? Did He know English? I believe He knew all things, but He didn’t speak English. No one would have understood what He was talking about. On everyday street language, He probably spoke Aramaic with a sprinkling of Greek, the common street language of the day. But when he was talking to Jews, He spoke Hebrew because that was the language of the Jew.
“Eloi…” is Hebrew. It means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
El – most Hebrew words are back words – Eloi, Eloi – El is God
As I read this, I said, “God, I don’t understand why you had to leave that in Hebrew?” God did not leave everything Jesus said in Hebrew. He wrote it, and we translated it into English. Why did the translators leave, “Eloi..?” The New Testament was written in Greek. So why did Matthew write that in Hebrew? Why did Mark write that in Hebrew? It has to be there for a reason.
The Holy Spirit spoke very clearly into my heart this and said, “Son, the reason I had the translators leave it in Hebrew is because I wanted the audience, including you, to know that whom Jesus was talking to when he said it was not you. He was talking to the Jews because they had, sitting at their houses, a copy of the Psalms, and in those Psalms are the Hebrew songs of the church.
Jesus is going to tell them exactly what chapter to read in order to figure out why He’s dying. So he says, “Eloi…” If they would have gone home and opened their Bibles, here’s what they would have found:
“To the chief musician of ( ), a Psalm of David
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
How do you think it was spelled in their Bible? Eloi…
Do you know why Jesus wanted them to read this Chapter? He wanted everybody there that day to know why He was dying. Not because He believed God forsook Him, but because He believed the Jews were missing why He was there. He knew they would interpret Him being on a tree as being cursed by God. He knew Isaiah 53:4 that said, “We did esteem Him as smitten of God.” He wanted to steer them, not toward God turning His back on Him but toward them turning their backs on Him. Even in death Jesus was trying to save His audience. He says, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” so that they would go home and read the very chapter that said it.
Do you know what you’ll find if you read it? This is amazing:
Why are you so far from (…)
“My God, I cried in the daytime, but you didn’t hear me. And in the night season (?)”
But when did Jesus cry in the day? And in the night? Between the hours of 9:00 am and 12:00 noon, he cried in the day. But, in the hours between noon and 3:00 pm he cried in the night. The first cue is Psalms 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”