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Just before His death, Jesus quotes Psalm 22 as He cries out in Aramaic, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This last utterance is poignant and heartbreaking as Jesus is separated from the Father for the first time in His existence in order to become sin for us on the cross.

For most of His time on earth, Jesus was misunderstood. He wasn’t like everyone else. His teaching wasn’t like the other rabbis. Many in the nation of Israel thought Jesus was blaspheming by claiming to be God. Others were expecting a different kind of Messiah, a military leader who would set Israel free from Roman rule. Some thought Jesus was just a powerful prophet or teacher. Others couldn’t get past the fact that He was Joseph’s kid from down the street. Even Jesus’s disciples misunderstood Him sometimes (Mark 8:17-18). 

Jesus’s final moments on the cross were no different. As He hung there dying, the crowd misunderstood His final words. In Mark 15:35, they said, “Behold, he is calling for Elijah” and gave him some vinegar.

Jesus, being the perfect teacher, communicates truth perfectly. We, as imperfect hearers, have a responsibility to clean out our ears and listen with humility. In Luke 9:35, God gives us a clear command: “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” Are you listening to Jesus?


  • How can your own preconceptions cloud your understanding of who Jesus is and what He might want to say to you today?
  • What preconceptions or distractions do you need to put aside so you can hear Jesus clearly?

Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified

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