Christian Churches of God
(Edition 1.0 20000416-20000418)
The final words spoken by Christ at his death have prophetic significance and relate to the entire structure of the sacrificial laws and the expiation of sin and reconciliation to God, as foretold in the Psalms and other testimony.
The apostle John records the final words spoken by the Messiah, prior to his death on the stake (or stauros) of his crucifixion. He was an eyewitness.
There were seven sayings from the cross. Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 record one saying.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (RSV)
Luke records three sayings in Luke 23: 34, 43, 46.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. (RSV)
Luke 23:43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (RSV)
Luke 23:46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. (RSV)
John also records three sayings here in 19:26, 27, 28 and 30.
John 19:26-30 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" 27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 28 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), "I thirst." 29 A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (RSV)
It is clear from Luke 23:44 that the promise to the malefactor was before the darkness.
The words of Psalm 22:1 were uttered at the beginning, or during the course of the three hours of darkness (cf. Bullinger, Companion Bible, note to John 19:30).
Bullinger considers it likely that Christ would have recited the entire Psalm 22 as a witness to the chief priests who were present (Mk. 15:31 and Lk. 23:35). In his death he became witness against these priests and the corrupt system they had allowed to arise. From this point on they came under the Sign of Jonah and were placed under limitation to repentance or destruction. By 1 Abib or Nisan of 70 CE, exactly forty years later, at the beginning of the First Month and the New Year, Jerusalem was surrounded by a Roman Army. The Temple system and its priesthood were given forty years to repent on a year for a day given to Nineveh and they did not repent and were destroyed (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)).
Psalm 22 is the Psalm of the Sufferer, which tells of the Sufferer and also of the glory that is to follow.
Psalm 22:1-31 To the choirmaster: according to The Hind of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 3 Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; 8 "He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!" 9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts. 10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16 Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet -- 17 I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots. 19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. 25 From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. 26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. 28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, 31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it. (RSV)
In the text at John 19:23-24 we see another and final prophecy being fulfilled. The soldiers divided his garments and cast lots for his vesture or cloak as prophesied (Ps. 22:18). This is the final part of the prophecy and probably occurred after his recital of Psalm 22. But God did not hide his face from him nor forsake him as the Psalm states (Ps. 22:24).
After handing his mother to the care of the disciple present who immediately took her into his care, Christ then proceeded to finalise Scripture and prophecy by uttering the words, “I Thirst”. They then filled a sponge of vinegar, which they then put on Hyssop and put in his mouth. When Jesus received the vinegar he said: It is finished (teleõ). This has the significance of meaning that all the things that had to be done were accomplished, as Scripture cannot be broken (Jn 10:34-35). He then bowed his head, suggesting that it had been upright until this moment and then gave up or delivered (paradidõmi) his spirit or pneuma. Matthew says sent forth his spirit (Mat. 27:50).
The only Scripture that had yet to be fulfilled could not take place until he was ready and had sent forth his spirit. This day was 14 Nisan in the year 30 CE. It fell on the Wednesday. In no year that Christ could have been killed in accordance with the Bible record, did 14 Abib or Nisan fall on a Friday (see the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)). A Friday Crucifixion is part of the Easter system and the worship of Baal-Istar or Easter, the mother goddess system worshipped under the priests of Attis in the West, or of Adonis in the East (see the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). It also has relation to the system of the Golden Calf (see The Golden Calf (No. 222)). The system also had relationship to the Philistines and the worship of Derceto and Dagon, where the fish and dove symbol came from in worship (see the papers David and Goliath (No. 126) and The Piñata (No. 276)).
The day, Thursday, in 30 CE, was a High Day being the First Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That night the Passover was to be eaten (see The Passover (No. 98)).
Under the Law, the day must not be defiled nor the people defiled by touching dead bodies. Thus they had to make sure they were dead within the time allowed. The legs of the first two crucified with him were broken, but when they came to Christ they saw he was dead already and they did not break his legs, but a soldier pierced his side and blood and water came out.
This was to fulfil another Scripture concerning his death. Firstly, that not a bone of him shall be broken (cp. Ps. 34:20). The second Scripture said, “They shall look on him whom they pierced”, which comes from Zechariah 12:10. This has implications for the Messiah’s lineage (see the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)). The prophecy also has implications concerning who Messiah was and also the destiny of the elect in becoming elohim (Zech. 12:8; see the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1)).
He was then taken away by Joseph of Arimathea, who had become a secret disciple of the Messiah. Joseph pleaded with Pilate for his body and was given it. With the disciple Nicodemus who had a hundred pounds weight of embalming spices, they took him to be buried in Joseph’s own tomb, which was new. This fact was also important to his purity as the sacrifice. In understanding the texts and sacrifices, we can look now at the Psalms and their prophecy. Psalm 22 related to Christ as the Sin Offering.
In Psalm 40 we see Christ as the Whole Burnt Offering.
Psalm 40:1-17 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods! 5 Thou hast multiplied, O LORD my God, thy wondrous deeds and thy thoughts toward us; none can compare with thee! Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be numbered. 6 Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire; but thou hast given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering thou hast not required. 7 Then I said, "Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me; 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart." 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD. 10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation. 11 Do not thou, O LORD, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me! 12 For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, till I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 14 Let them be put to shame and confusion altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt! 15 Let them be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, Aha!" 16 But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!" 17 As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me. Thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God! (RSV)
In Psalm 69 we see Christ as the Trespass Offering (this is also Bullingers view cf. n. to Ps. 69:1).
Psalm 69:1-36 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Psalm of David. Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, thou knowest my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from thee. 6 Let not those who hope in thee be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek thee be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. 7 For it is for thy sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brethren, an alien to my mother's sons. 9 For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me.
Psalm 69:9 refers to John 15:25.
John 15:25 It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, `They hated me without a cause.' (RSV)
Psalm 69:10 follows on: When I humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy steadfast love answer me. With thy faithful help 14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O LORD, for thy steadfast love is good; according to thy abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in distress, make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies! 19 Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to thee. 20 Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their own table before them become a snare; let their sacrificial feasts be a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see; and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out thy indignation upon them, and let thy burning anger overtake them. 25 May their camp be a desolation, let no one dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and him whom thou hast wounded, they afflict still more. 27 Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from thee. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let thy salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the LORD hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves therein. 35 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the children of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it. (RSV)
Psalm 69:14-20 is held by Bullinger to relate to Gethsemane in Matthew 26:36-45. It covers the events of the trial and the crucifixion where the enemies of Christ are before him.
Matthew 26:36-45 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem'ane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go yonder and pray." 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zeb'edee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done." 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (RSV)
Psalm 69:21 refers to the crucifixion (Mat. 27:34-48; Jn. 19:29). It is the prophecy he must fulfil before his death as Messiah, by drinking vinegar. That action and being offered gall previously, brings condemnation on Judah. They are given over as a tribe to the second resurrection. They enter the ranks of the elect only as individuals. They need not have done this.
Psalm 69:25 refers to Judas in Acts 1:20 as it is quoted there. This is the point now in terms of the twelve apostles. We have twelve apostles who will judge the tribes. There is one apostle in charge of and representing each tribe. The tribe of Levi takes to the priesthood, but there are only twelve tribes involved. Judas symbolised the betrayal, by Judah, of Messiah as the Messenger of the Covenant that delivered them from bondage in the Exodus. He was of the tribe of Judah and the clan of Bethlehem Ephratah. It is thus more than simply a reference to Judas when grouped here. Psalm 69:22-28 Bullinger holds to refer to Romans 11:9,10. This quote followed on from that of Romans 11:8 referring back to Isaiah 29:10. There is no doubt that these prophecies relate to the failure of Judah as a nation to attain the Holy Spirit at that time and their traditions became a complete snare to them.
Each law that should have been for their welfare became a trap for them. After the Temple was destroyed Judah and Levi destroyed the calendar by postponements and made the foodlaws into a bizarre farce to this very day. They neither see nor hear nor understand and thus turn and be saved. They had no inheritance and their habitations were desolate for Millennia. But God will save Zion and will build the cities of Judah. In the last days they will be restored and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on them through the Messiah they killed who will return to save those who eagerly await him. These are they that keep the commandments of God and the testimony and faith of Jesus the Christ, or Joshua the Messiah (Rev. 12:17: 14:12).