The Seven Last Words-The Fourth Word

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabachtha'ni?" That is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)

Marc Chagall, Yellow Crucifixion of 1943

In 1943 Marc Chagall was inspired to paint and emphasize Jesus the Rabbi living as a Jew, and dying as Jew. Even while dying on the cross he recited words from the Jewish scriptures. Chagall has painted a world that is about to know the horror of Auschwitz, he accentuates the Jewishness of Jesus in life and in death. Jesus wears a leather pouch containing scrolls with passages of scripture on his head as a devout Jew would. He has prayer straps on his arm, and at his right hand is the scroll of the Torah.

Why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus was not questioning God; he was quoting Psalm 22, a deep expression of anguish he felt when he took on the sins of the world, which caused him to be separated from his Father. 

Antonella da Messina, Christ at the Pillory


From the 6th hour to the 9th hour, noon to three of this day darkness fell over the land. Three hours of mounting physical anguish and now absolute moral and spiritual darkness. Da Messina paints with luminous color applied in a new technique of his time called 'oil painting.' Because of his new found technique with oil paint he was able to achieve the feeling seen in this painting. He introduced oil painting into 15th century Venetian art. His ability to build form with color instead of line and shade would prove to be inspiring to artists for many generations to come.


My God, My God, why hast though forsaken me?" There is no statement to rival this one from Jesus in all the Gospels!