Did God Forsake His Son on the Cross?

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I know I’m a few days late but as promised; I’d like to explore some of the last words of Jesus before ascending into heaven from the cross.  As I mentioned last week, my brother Joe had revealed to me when I was sharing some of my doubts with him that the following line was one that really seemed to bug him when he himself wrestled with the deity of Christ.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” (Matthew 27:46)

His question was this: “Why would Jesus, if He was indeed fully God, cry out to his Father in his last moments of life “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

On the surface, this line sounds a whole lot like doubt.  It also seems to contradict the idea that Christ was God because if He was, why would He ever wonder if he’d been forsaken by Himself?

I won’t make this a lengthy post since I don’t think it really needs much commentary on my part.  The answer is pretty straightforward and there doesn’t seem to be much assistance needed in the way of understanding this once you see what was actually occurring in those last moments.  Jesus was not crying out for God in doubt, he was simply quoting scripture.

In Psalm 22 in the Old Testament, we see a Messianic Psalm which points to the death of Christ on the cross.  Here are a few passages that indicate that this is so, but feel free to read the whole thing yourself in its entirety.

7 All who see me mock me;
       they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

 11 Do not be far from me,
       for trouble is near
       and there is no one to help.

 14 I am poured out like water,
       and all my bones are out of joint
.
       My heart has turned to wax;
       it has melted away within me.

 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
       and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
       you lay me [b] in the dust of death.

 16 Dogs have surrounded me;
       a band of evil men has encircled me,
       they have pierced [c] my hands and my feet.

 17 I can count all my bones;
       people stare and gloat over me.

 18 They divide my garments among them
       and cast lots for my clothing.

So what does this Psalm have to do with these controversial words of Christ?  Well, if you look at the beginning of Psalm 22 verse 1, you’ll see this opening line, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”  I think it’s pretty clear that Jesus was referencing this psalm which pointed to the very agony He was currently experiencing. 

So not only is this quote not cause for doubt, it’s actually quite the opposite;  It’s another indicator that He is the Creator, otherwise, how could David, the author of Psalm 22, prophesize this very monumental moment nearly 1000 years prior to the actual crucifixion?

 

 

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4 Comments

  • JamesBrett

    JamesBrett June 24, 2010

    did the Father have to turn his back on Jesus because of the sin he’d taken onto himself?  did our sin actually cause a separation of the Father and the Son?  or can/does God remain in communion with Jesus even in this situation?  just thinking out loud…

  • Jessica

    Jessica June 25, 2010

    Is it just me….

    But the more I learn, the less I seem to know.

  • Scott

    Scott June 27, 2010

    Jessica, you said:
    Is it just me….

    But the more I learn, the less I seem to know.

    And that should spur you on to desire to know even more about God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
    Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

    However, you are not going to learn more about God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit by going to Bahai, Buddist, Hindu, Muslim, Mormon, or New Age places of worship. You will not learn more by going to a Baptist church or a Church of Christ church or a Catholic church.

    What will bring you a better understanding of God? And where will you find it? At a church that teaches directly from the Bible. Ask: What does this church teach about Jesus Christ? If that church does not declare that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He IS God—then flee from that place. If that church teaches that the Bible is not the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God—then flee from that place. If that church teaches that we need to place as much faith in men’s teachings as we do in the Bible and adds spurious doctrines like Mary’s sinlessness—then flee from that place.

    Seriously, Jessica, you are treading a very dangerous path exploring these other religions and I would urge you to stop going to the 52 different places of worship.

    Proverbs 6:27-28 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  (28)  Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

    2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

    2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
    2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

    Your quest will lead you to more confusion and more questions and doubts. How does a bank teller know when they have encountered a counterfeit bill? Not studying other counterfeit bills, but by knowing the real bill so well that the counterfeit’s flaws stick out. Read the Bible and study it and pray to God for wisdom, please.

  • Jessica

    Jessica June 28, 2010

    Scott,

    My immediate reaction upon reading your comments was to tell you all the reasons why I think studying other faiths is okay.  Then I realized that your reasons for persuading me to stop exploring comes from a place of love for Christ and His body of believers.  So thank you. I have wrestled with the very idea myself.  Yet God has also impressed on me that my openness has provided me with a unique opportunity to share our Blessed Hope with many non-believers.  I know if I spent all my time in a Christian church, it’d be a lot harder to minister to the lost. In either regard, your advice is sound and something I will consider.

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