Lately, Karen Kingsbury has been my favorite author. As she develops her books, she focuses on one character at a time to show what they are thinking and feeling about the situation. I love the way she ties the different perspectives into the continuous story.
Last week during my devotions I read Psalm 22. It starts out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” Immediately I recognized that this was very similar to what Jesus cried out to God as He was dying on the cross–only it was written a LONG time before that. I read on. Verses 16-18 say, “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” Then I knew for sure this must be a prophecy of the death of Jesus.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with Karen Kingsbury. Well, don’t worry. I do have a point here. I decided to write the references from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of where Jesus says this in the margin next to Psalm 22. So I looked them up.
In Matthew I found it in chapter 27 verse 46: “About the ninth hour Jesus cried in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?‘–which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'”
The same thing was in Mark 15:34: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?‘–which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'”
But when I got to Luke, I noticed that something different was recorded. Luke 23:46 says, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.'”
There was also a different account in John, chapter 19 verse 30: “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.'”
These differences definitely do NOT mean that there are errors in the Bible. It is only showing different people’s perspectives in the situation. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all present at Jesus’ death, but they each remember slightly different things. Just like if you hear several different people tell the same story, they focus on different aspects. The fact that Jesus was being forsaken by His Father stuck out to Matthew and Mark; Luke noticed that Jesus gave up Himself for His Father’s purpose; and John remembered Jesus sigh three words–it is finished–as His huge task of saving the world was over.
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