We come to the passage in Matthew 27 today that describes the death of our Savior Jesus for us.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” —Matthew 27:46 ESV
After reading our passage in Psalm 69 today, and Spurgeon’s insights into the “mire of sin,” I have a greater appreciation for the immense suffering Jesus experienced. The weight of sin and the wrath of God added to the intense physical torture that our Lord endured. As our substitute, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)
J.C.Ryle, in his commentary on Matthew, helps us to understand:
There is a deep mystery in these words, which no mortal man can fathom. No doubt they were not wrung from our Lord by mere bodily pain. Such an explanation His utterly unsatisfactory, and dishonorable to our blessed Savior. They were meant to express the real pressure on His soul of the enormous burden of a world’s sins. They were meant to show how truly and literally He was our substitute, was made sin, and a curse for us, and endured God’s righteous anger against a world’s sin in His own person. At that dreadful moment, the iniquity of us all was laid upon Him to the uttermost. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him, and put Him to grief. (Isaiah 53:10.) He bore our sins. He carried our transgressions. Heavy must have been that burden, real and literal must have been our Lord’s substitution for us, when He, the eternal Son of God, could speak of Himself as for a time “forsaken.”
Let the expression sink down into our hearts, and not be forgotten. We can have no stronger proof of the sinfulness of sin, or of the vicarious nature of Christ’s sufferings, than His cry, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” It is a cry that should stir us up to hate sin, and encourage us to trust in Christ.