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If we are honest with ourselves, many of us struggle with the words of the Messiah while on the cross, "Eli, Eli lemana shabakthani" - "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).

Much of the struggle is then made worse by trying to rationalize the statement. How many have heard this? "It was that moment that Jesus took on the sin of the world and God turned His back on Jesus."

This rational sounds nice on the surface but we need to understand that there is absolutely no support of this theory anywhere in Scripture. We need to understand when a teaching is speculation and when there's Biblical or historical backing.

Here's my problem with this theory… Y'shua knew EXACTLY what He was doing when He walked the earth, and He knew EXACTLY what was required of Him when is walk was to be finished. This understanding makes this teaching absurd. Why would Y'shua, knowing EXACTLY what would be required and what will happen, cry out why it's happening?

Others say he was just quoting Psalm 22:1 but is He, and why? There's good reason why Psalms 22 is referenced as there is so much going on at the cross that was referenced in Psalm 22; "hands and feet pierced, "enemies gamble for his clothing", "I'm poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax and has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You lay me in the dust of death." We need to remember that Psalm 22 is metaphorical speech and yet Y'shua was literally going through. There can be a connection but even if there was, there makes no sense in Jesus crying out "why have you forsaken me?" Some would say it was to fulfill prophecy, as we read about so many times in the Gospels, but why would He have to say a confusing statement when all appearances would show fulfillment of prophecy?

To understand what's being said here we need to go back to an understanding of the Aramaic language and grammar.

In Psalm 22:1 the Hebrew reads, "Eli, Eli lama azbatani". In Matthew 27:46 the statement reads, "Eli, Eli lemana sharkthani" in Aramaic. The Hebrew word "azbatani" has one definition - forsaken. Meanwhile, the Aramaic word "sharkthani" has multiple definitions - forsaken, reserve, keep, spare, forgive. Using the root word "shbak" we see the definition forgive used in Luke 23:34 "Father, shbak (forgive) them for they know not what they do".

If we look at the other definitions of "sharkthani" will any other make more sense in the context of what's going on at this moment on the cross? Working through the definitions, let's see.

The definition "forgive" can easily be eliminated as it would make no sense at all.

Some scholars suggest that the reading may be "My El, My El for this you have reserved/kept me". The only issue is that traditional understanding of "lemana" places what was said as a question. Understanding this is a question we then need to look at the remaining definitions - reserved, keep (kept), spare(d).

If we use "keep" (kept) or "spare"(d) it would sound something like, "why have you kept me around?" or "why have you reserved me for this?" Understanding that Y'shua knew His purpose we can rule these out as well.

Moving onto the last definition we see, "why have you spared me?" In the context of what we are seeing this would make the most sense. It's like Jesus saying, "I've been here for six hours and will die for this cause, but how much more time will this take?" When we look at the context of Scripture we see that Y'shua died quickly after asking the question which, in honesty, validates this definition more so than any other definition of the word.

It appears we've been thinking the wrong thing based on a mistranslation and then introducing poor theology to try to explain a confusing statement which further builds upon the issue.