What my god means is black

If “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” is the beginning of Psalm 22, then of course one cannot expect Jesus to recite the entire Psalm on the cross. But like many other psalms, the psalm does not stop at the first half, but changes from verse 23 to the opposite, namely to trust in God.

Therefore, the reference to Psalm 22 must be read in such a way that the second half of the Psalm is also included and Jesus dies in full trust in the Word of God. He knows that through our faith we are always in fellowship with God, regardless of whether we are doing well or badly, and are in the love of God beyond death.


Interpretation 2 by Father Peter Knauer SJ:

We read about this in the Gospel of Mark 15: 33-41:

The death of Jesus

33 When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land - until the ninth hour.

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice: Eloï, Eloï, lema sabachtani?, that means translated: My god, my god, why did you leave me?


35Some of those who stood by and heard it said: Listen, he is calling for Elijah!


36 One of them ran, dipped a sponge in vinegar, put it on a pipe, and gave Jesus to drink. He said: Let us see if Elijah comes and takes him down.

37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice. Then he breathed out the ghost.

38 The curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

39 When the centurion confronted with Jesus saw him die in this way, he said, "Verily, this man was the Son of God."

40 Some women also watched from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Little and Joses, and Salome;

41 They had already followed Jesus in Galilee and served him. There were many other women who had gone up to Jerusalem with him.


My god, my god, why did you leave me?

With Psalm 22, which begins in Aramaic like this, it is difficult to understand why these words were interpreted by those around as a call to Elijah (Mk 15:35).
This can only be understood from its Hebrew version. This version is the basis of Mt 27:46:
46 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice: Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani? That means: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Psalm 22 contains in verse 11 (see table) in its Hebrew version the word (in phonetic transcription)
[eli attá] = "my God you", or "you are my God". This sounds like Aramaic [elija ta] = "Elijah, come!".

(For comparison 1 Cor 16:22:22, whoever does not love the Lord, be cursed! Marána thá - Our Lord, come!)

Luke writes in his Gospel in 23:46:
46 And Jesus called out in a loud voice, Father, I will put my spirit in your hands. With these words he breathed out the ghost.
and thereby quotes Psalm 31: 6:
6 I place my spirit in your hand with confidence; you have redeemed me, O LORD, the God of faithfulness.

This Psalm 31 also contains the [eli attá] in verse 15:
15 But I, Lord, I trusted you, I said: My god you are

Psalm 63, the beginning of which is quoted in John 19:28, also contains the [eli attá] in verse 2
Psalm 63:
2 God, you my godI'm looking for you /my soul thirsts for you. My body pines for you / like arid, thirsting land without water.
John 19:28
28 Afterward, knowing that it was all finished, Jesus said in order for the scriptures to be fulfilled: I am thirsty.

So, with great historical probability, also because of the extreme shortness of breath of the crucified Christ, the mere "Eli attá" was Jesus' last call. It is supplemented or explained by the evangelist with a quote from one of the few psalms in which it appears. It is therefore rather not a “cry of desperation”, as one often seems to think, but rather the expression of ultimate trust, a summary of faith.


compiled by Ludwig Witzenberger