Why should you believe that the man Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah? Why should you believe that Jesus died for you as your Messiah?
There are many answers to this question. But one answer would be to look at how the man Jesus fulfilled prophecies about the Christ’s death. If Jesus fulfilled those prophecies then he would clearly be the Christ, not an ordinary man at all!
There are actually many prophecies about the death of the Christ. Some of the clearest are given by David in Psalm 22.
While Jesus was dying on the cross, he referenced Psalm 22 itself as being fulfilled by his death. He quoted the opening words from Psalm 22: ‘About 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?”’ (Matthew 27:46).
But it is not only these words that apply to Jesus’ death, a number of verses in the Psalm explicitly prophesy how the Messiah would be killed.
For example, we read in Psalm 22 about the mocking of the Messiah by his enemies: ‘All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him”’ (Psalm 22:7-8).
Then in Matthew’s record of Jesus’ death we see a fulfilment of this prophesied mocking: ‘In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ “’ (Matthew 27:41-43).
Also in Psalm 22 we hear of the piercing of the Christ’s hands and feet, along with the dividing of his garments: ‘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’ (Psalm 22:16-18).
When we read Matthew, we see Jesus was pierced by crucifixion and his clothes gambled away: ‘When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots’ (Matthew 27:35).
And there are many other allusions to the man Jesus in the Psalm. Not only to his death but also to his life and his trust in the Lord in the midst of suffering.
So the man Jesus was also the Christ. He is Jesus Christ.
Which means that when Jesus cried out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’, it was true. God had in some way left him. Not just physically, but also spiritually. Jesus was experiencing the abandonment by God that all sinners should experience.
Therefore, wither we will be abandoned by God and confined in hell because of our sin or Jesus Christ was abandoned on our behalf because we trust in him.
So have you come to understand that Jesus is The Christ? Have you trusted that he was forsaken by God so that you will never be forsaken?