My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?Psalm 22
There seems to be a very good chance that Jesus was praying the whole time he was being crucified. This makes a lot of sense if you consider that he had spent three years focused on this one outcome. It seems to me very plausible that he was trying to draw strength from the scriptures that he knew so well.
As I’ve said elsewhere, this can also be looked at as an anguished cry from someone who has lost his connection with God (The Spirit of God); this connection had sustained him for three years, but he was unable to maintain it under the excruciating pain of his final torture.
Imagine if you will that Jesus is praying silently, perhaps mumbling, most of the time. And yet some of the most appropriate passages come out loud and strong, so that those nearby can hear him. This might account for the differences in the reporting of his last words.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.Psalm 31:5
Just before this, he might has been saying: “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.” (Psalm 31:1-4)
It is finished. (τετέλεσται or “Tetelestai” in Greek)Possible mis-translation of the last sentence of Psalm 22:31
Keeping in mind that Jesus was speaking either in Aramaic or Ancient Hebrew, and that this is an English translation of Gospels that were originally written in Greek, and that around 50 years had passed between the crucifixion and the writing of the Gospels, it’s reasonable to propose that Jesus was reciting the entire Psalm 22 towards the end of his life.
All of this makes Jesus that much more human to me, and pushes me to the edge of tears while contemplating his sacrifice.
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: Brooklyn_Museum_What_Our_Lord_Saw_from_the_Cross (Ce_que_voyait_Notre-Seigneur_sur_la_Croix)_-_James_Tissot.jpg Attribution: James Tissot [Public domain]