Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani

(Response from Ps. 22 setting by © Christopher Tambling)

Ps. 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 2. O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 3. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. . . .

The words, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) were spoken by Jesus from the cross, just before he died (Mark 15.34 and Matthew 27.26). Jesus may have been recalling this psalm, especially as verse 4 had just been parodied by those calling out, “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now” (Matthew 27.43). These mocking words are a chorus in Handel’s Messiah, with a strong bass entry that I like, because I sing bass.


I sang Psalm 22 on Sunday 15 October. Nothing remarkable in that. Googling “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”, however, I found model, software engineer and ex-marine Jonathan Jesensky.


From this interview, Jesensky seems pleasant and interesting. I wonder why he has Jesus’ cry of dereliction tattooed on his belly? (The armband tattoo seems to be in Korean, tho’ I can’t make it out.) Curious.