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Jesus on the cross, Psalm 22, and God forsakes Jesus on the cross?

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Hello friends and family.
I was doing a bit of research today and I came across some cool stuff.

This article talks about how Jesus became sin for us on the cross, if God actually forsook Jesus, and about Psalm 22.



For many years I taught the seven sayings of the cross and when I came to the words of Jesus, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I used the text as evidence that the Father had turned His back on His own Son when Jesus was on the cross. "The Bible is clear that God cannot look upon sin!" I would boldly proclaim. It seemed reasonable to me that God turned away from Jesus. After all, isn't that what Jesus said?

The answer is, "No, that is not what He said. That is what He asked. There's a big difference between making an assertion and asking a question."

"Do you mean Jesus was wrong?" you might ask. My answer is that it was Jesus, the Man who became sin for us. When he absorbed the darkness and weight of the sin of the world into Himself, He had the sense of abandonment by God the Father that sin always brings. Blinded by sin and horrified by its effect on and in Him, the man Jesus cried out of His humanity, "Why have you forsaken me?" In that moment, He identified Himself with every person who has ever felt abandoned by God. He became one who felt isolated, lonely, abandoned, forsaken and hopeless on behalf of you, me, and everybody who would ever feel that way.

The question Jesus spoke was a direct quote from the prophetic Psalm 22, where in the very first verse the psalmist asks, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is noteworthy that this is the only time Jesus ever called His Father "God" and not "Father." In that moment,the man Jesus felt forsaken. Having become sin for us, He could not feel or sense or see His Father's embrace at that moment.

The gospels don't record an answer to His question, but Psalm 22 does. In response to the first verse where the psalmist cries out the prophetic words, "Why have you forsaken me?" there is an answer in verse 24. Here's the answer to the question of Jesus, the question of the psalmist and the question of every person who has ever felt abandoned by the Father: For he (God the Father) has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Sin may deafen our ears to the answer, but the reality is that the Father has never and will never despise, disdain or turn His face away from us, forsaking us. He has heard our cry for help!

God the Father forsaking His own Son? Impossible! God the Father was "in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself!" (2 Corinthians 5:19) Jesus didn't feel it at the time. It seemed like the Father had forsaken Him, but He hadn't! Nor will He ever forsake you.

But what about the "God cannot look upon sin" part? Doesn't the Bible say that? Well, it does but we need to put that comment in context. It was Habakkuk the prophet who said that as he watched evil people seemingly getting away with their sins. Here's the whole quote in context:

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? Habakkuk 1:13

To paraphrase him, Habakkuk said, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil and you can't tolerate wrong so why are you?" In other words, it made no sense to Habakkuk that God was looking on sin when Habakkuk believed that wasn't possible. He was smearing the face of God with the guilt and shame of humanity the same way Adam had done when he hid himself in the Garden of Eden because He thought God wouldn't want to look at him after he sinned. Adam was wrong. God came for His walk that day just as He had every day. And Habakkuk was wrong too.

The fact is that God can look upon sin. Some people act as if the relationship of God the Father to sin is like Superman's aversion to kryptonite. They act as if God is afraid of sin, but nothing could be further from the truth. In Christ Jesus, sin has been destroyed - finished- end of story. (See Daniel 9:24) Through the finished work of the cross, sin has been defeated! God hates sin because of what it does to us, not because it does anything to Him.

So, on the cross Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself. As a man who became sin for us (so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him), He felt forsaken, but He was not. The Father did hear His cry and, as the empty tomb three days later proves, did not forsake Him. The question of Jesus the man was: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The answer from God the Father was: "I haven't! I've not despised, disdained nor forsaken you. I'm here with you, in this moment, carrying you through this death to the glorious resurrection on the other side."

That was true for Jesus when he felt forsaken and it's true for you when you feel that way too.
 
Active
And, this is an absolutely amazing psalm, Psalm 22.


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

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

Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
 
Active

RJ

I'm here with you, in this moment, carrying you through this death to the glorious resurrection on the other side."
You believe what you believe. I currently see two things:
  • First Jesus was fully God and he was fully human, who is expected to fully understand this. He died fully as a human.
  • When he cried out, he indeed had felt the absence of God.
The reason for both is relatively simple for me. He always had to be the perfect human sacrifice. He could not have accomplished God's perfect plan unless he was fully human and God was absent to insure he did this on his own!
 
Member
Interesting. The beauty of this discussion is, though our perspectives are slightly different....I think each one has its validity. God is enormous, how can one perspective ever capture his heart in the matter?
I liked what was said about, "Our sin does not scare God". That helped me alot.
I see the suffering of Jesus in three parts....all these are kinda interconnected....
1) He died FOR us.
Jesus said, "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so when the Son of man is lifted up..."
He IS a symbol FOR us.....not just his death, but his whole life, his teachings, his love....

2) He died BECAUSE of us.
It was "our" human propensity for envy, and inability to be humbled that brought about the circumstances of his death. I say, "envy" because the first temptation in Eden was actually envy of God....."you will be like God...."
Pharisaic hypocrisy, Judas's insincerity, and a "people" who would rather release a murderous Barabbas.
However, Jesus knew this about us.....he knew what needed to be done. So, in that respect the "ball was never in our court"....Jesus knew it would cost him his life.

3) He died because God WANTED him to.
Isaiah 53 "It pleased God to crush him....."
Why would God WANT to do this....?
Perhaps, "God's thoughts are not our thoughts...."

We don't perceive suffering correctly.
Check out Job.

We see this in the story of Job. The mysterious love of God -vs- the mystery iniquity.

God indirectly allows everything to be take away from Job. Everything!
And Job doesn't understand why.

Starting in chapter 40 God answers Job, and it is marvelous to comprehend God's plan. The last sentence quoted here says it all.

God answers Job, "Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Then will I also confess unto thee that THINE OWN RIGHT HAND CAN SAVE THEE".

Amazing.....God is saying to Job, "what YOU perceived was my wrath....was actually my salvation...."

This is the exact opposite of envy....which tells us ws can save ourselves, get or make or be what we want, and that nothing is outside our grasp or above our power.

God is saying, "I took away your power, I abased you, formed you, humbled you.....I did all the things YOU couldn't do....and even if you tried.....IT WOULD BE ENVY THAT PROPELLED YOU and not Godliness".

And Job's response is something like, "I am vile, I have spoken once but I will not speak again. I have spoken of things I don't understand, things to wonderful for me. Therefore I repent in dust and ashes".

JESUS ACCEPTANCE OF THE CROSS WAS "HIS" (as the son of man) SALVATION. There was nothing on earth that Jesus wanted. Of course, Jesus had his moments of strength, followed by moments of doubt......
Jesus asked for the "cup of suffering to be taken away" in Gethsemane. However, shortly after, Jesus tells the people, "don't weep for me, weep for yourselves"....as if to rejoice in his death, to count himself lucky.
And then, we know he cried out, "why have you forsaken me".....

I don't know exactly. I imagine, at that moment of suffering....no amount of knowledge or self-control would suffice to hold back the feeling of being abandoned.

Just some thoughts, God bless
 
Member
Hello friends and family.
I was doing a bit of research today and I came across some cool stuff.

This article talks about how Jesus became sin for us on the cross, if God actually forsook Jesus, and about Psalm 22.



For many years I taught the seven sayings of the cross and when I came to the words of Jesus, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I used the text as evidence that the Father had turned His back on His own Son when Jesus was on the cross. "The Bible is clear that God cannot look upon sin!" I would boldly proclaim. It seemed reasonable to me that God turned away from Jesus. After all, isn't that what Jesus said?

The answer is, "No, that is not what He said. That is what He asked. There's a big difference between making an assertion and asking a question."

"Do you mean Jesus was wrong?" you might ask. My answer is that it was Jesus, the Man who became sin for us. When he absorbed the darkness and weight of the sin of the world into Himself, He had the sense of abandonment by God the Father that sin always brings. Blinded by sin and horrified by its effect on and in Him, the man Jesus cried out of His humanity, "Why have you forsaken me?" In that moment, He identified Himself with every person who has ever felt abandoned by God. He became one who felt isolated, lonely, abandoned, forsaken and hopeless on behalf of you, me, and everybody who would ever feel that way.

The question Jesus spoke was a direct quote from the prophetic Psalm 22, where in the very first verse the psalmist asks, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is noteworthy that this is the only time Jesus ever called His Father "God" and not "Father." In that moment,the man Jesus felt forsaken. Having become sin for us, He could not feel or sense or see His Father's embrace at that moment.

The gospels don't record an answer to His question, but Psalm 22 does. In response to the first verse where the psalmist cries out the prophetic words, "Why have you forsaken me?" there is an answer in verse 24. Here's the answer to the question of Jesus, the question of the psalmist and the question of every person who has ever felt abandoned by the Father: For he (God the Father) has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Sin may deafen our ears to the answer, but the reality is that the Father has never and will never despise, disdain or turn His face away from us, forsaking us. He has heard our cry for help!

God the Father forsaking His own Son? Impossible! God the Father was "in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself!" (2 Corinthians 5:19) Jesus didn't feel it at the time. It seemed like the Father had forsaken Him, but He hadn't! Nor will He ever forsake you.

But what about the "God cannot look upon sin" part? Doesn't the Bible say that? Well, it does but we need to put that comment in context. It was Habakkuk the prophet who said that as he watched evil people seemingly getting away with their sins. Here's the whole quote in context:

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? Habakkuk 1:13

To paraphrase him, Habakkuk said, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil and you can't tolerate wrong so why are you?" In other words, it made no sense to Habakkuk that God was looking on sin when Habakkuk believed that wasn't possible. He was smearing the face of God with the guilt and shame of humanity the same way Adam had done when he hid himself in the Garden of Eden because He thought God wouldn't want to look at him after he sinned. Adam was wrong. God came for His walk that day just as He had every day. And Habakkuk was wrong too.

The fact is that God can look upon sin. Some people act as if the relationship of God the Father to sin is like Superman's aversion to kryptonite. They act as if God is afraid of sin, but nothing could be further from the truth. In Christ Jesus, sin has been destroyed - finished- end of story. (See Daniel 9:24) Through the finished work of the cross, sin has been defeated! God hates sin because of what it does to us, not because it does anything to Him.

So, on the cross Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself. As a man who became sin for us (so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him), He felt forsaken, but He was not. The Father did hear His cry and, as the empty tomb three days later proves, did not forsake Him. The question of Jesus the man was: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The answer from God the Father was: "I haven't! I've not despised, disdained nor forsaken you. I'm here with you, in this moment, carrying you through this death to the glorious resurrection on the other side."

That was true for Jesus when he felt forsaken and it's true for you when you feel that way too.
Hi! 'TaylorDonBarret
Am I reading your Post correctly? At first glance, it appears to me that yer claiming that the profound utterance of Jesus, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?", was merely an emotional response of Jesus ... as opposed to Jesus' words expressing factual information concerning His circumstance at the time.
 
Active
Hi! 'TaylorDonBarret
Am I reading your Post correctly? At first glance, it appears to me that yer claiming that the profound utterance of Jesus, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?", was merely an emotional response of Jesus ... as opposed to Jesus' words expressing factual information concerning His circumstance at the time.
I believe Jesus's question was rhetorical in nature. He was obviously quoting the psalm. I'm pretty sure he was aware of that fact.

Although he surely felt the full extent of the following:

"Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest."

Ultimately the following is true:

"For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."

I believe the answer to the rhetorical question is this:

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5​

Blessings,

Travis
 
Member
I believe Jesus's question was rhetorical in nature. He was obviously quoting the psalm. I'm pretty sure he was aware of that fact.
Although he surely felt the full extent of the following:
"Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest."
Ultimately the following is true:
"For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."
I believe the answer to the rhetorical question is this:
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5​
Blessings,
Travis
Hi! Travis
Thanks for your kind response and explanation concerning your Post. Ummm, I have an expanded view of the verse that I'd like to contribute, ("My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
I'm sure that you'll agree that we have a Gospel which consistently reveals the harmonious, logical and beautiful topside of the embroidery of God, rather than the tangled and confusing underside woven by some of our esteemed traditionalists.
I often find myself gasping in astonishment while reading or hearing some of the shallow opinions and understanding which people seem to hold dear about the events at Calvary. For instance, when discussing the suffering of Jesus, many seem to over emphasize the divinity of Jesus. I've noticed that a lot of the traditional thinkers believe that the humiliation of the Son of God began at His conception in Mary's womb and lasted until His resurrection ... and even until His ascension. I personally don't hold this view because, even though the birth of Jesus took place in 'lowly' human circumstances, Jesus' life was a triumphant life of victory and glory. His victorious life was based on His uninterrupted fellowship with God in the Holy Spirit.

The humiliation of Jesus had it's beginnings at Gethsemane where our Lord began to be "made lower than the angels", (Heb 2:9). Jesus suffered so that we ourselves would not need to suffer from our deserved estrangement from God. The Holy Spirit withdrew from Jesus and, when this occurred, hordes of demons and angels of Death engulfed the Man of sorrows.
I want to say at the very outset here that our Lord Jesus put Himself in the same position as all the people who became burdened with sin. He humiliated Himself obediently before the will of the Creator and accepted the curse of death on the cross.
In addition, Jesus fully knew that His Father would withdraw His Spirit, (which was earlier prophesied by Isaiah), and that He would have to trod "the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me", (Isaiah 63:3; Rev 14:19,20).
Our Lord voluntarily gave up the infilling with the Spirit of His Father. In His suffering, Jesus was on His own; (entirely unlike ourselves who will always have, "the way of escape when we suffer", because the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, 1Cor 10:13.)
[The great and fundamental difference between Jesus Christ and ourselves is that He has life in Himself, (John 5.26), and we take it from His abundance. He is the true vine, we are the branches!]
The absence of communion with His Father caused Jesus enormous and horrific suffering. As a cursed man, Jesus hung for three hours on the cross suffering demonic attacks. This ghastly experience was visibly expressed by a darkness which lasted three hours. In the final minutes of His agony, Jesus called out: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?", (Matt 27:45,46).

The suffering and victory of our Lord was a fair contest ... the Hero of our faith against the 'strong man', (Matt 12:29). Jesus entered the strong man's fortress and bound him. Just before His death when the Lord was reunited with the Spirit of His Father, He again became the 'Son of God'. This explains why Jesus did not call God by His intimate name. It was only after His victory on the Cross that Jesus says: "Father, in thy hands I lay my spirit", (Luke 23:46).
One with the Spirit, Jesus descended as the MAN and rightful RULER OF THE WORLD' into the kingdom of Death and destroyed the wages of Death'. The prince of the kingdom of death, (Death), was not able to capture this Prince of Life because Jesus was not abandoned by the Spirit of His Father. Even the physical body of Jesus in the grave did not decompose; just as David had already prophesied, (Acts 2:24-28).
In the mighty victory of our Lord on Golgotha the devil was dethroned as the 'ruler of the world'. The 'Son of men' now could call out: 'It is done!' His victory robbed Death of its power, (sin)). For ages this 'power of sin' had robbed man of the possibility to reach the eternal life the Creator has in mind for him, (2Tim 1:10).
When our Prince of Life entered the kingdom of Death, many 'bodies' of the faithful were resurrected. These saints were the first fruits to the forming of the 'Body of Christ'. During the resurrection of the Lord, they together followed Jesus from out of the kingdom of Death and appeared before many who through their faith belonged in their inner being to the 'holy city', the 'New Jerusalem'. From this time on this became manifest in 'heaven', (Matthew 27:52,53).
If we wonder why Jesus had to die after He had conquered, the answer is: He left his body of His own free will to visit and set free for ever the spirits in prison and to proclaim the good news to those who had seen Him from afar, as Abraham had, (Heb 11:13).

Not having sinned under the extreme worst of provocation and pressure, that is, having withstood the law of sin, Jesus could not be subjected the law of death! When He said: "It is finished", the humiliation of Jesus had drawn to a close, and His glorification began. When Jesus announced His victory, He "committed His spirit into the hands of the Father", (Luke 23.46). This means that of His own free will, as a conqueror, He re-united His spirit with the Holy Spirit, in a renewed fellowship of life and love. In the power of that fellowship, He then left His body to proclaim His victory in the realm of the first death, (1Peter 3.19), while His body was left in the grave in the care of the same Spirit of life. His body did not see corruption, (Acts 2.31); not because it was in the grave for so short a time, (after all, corruption and decay begin at the very moment of death), but because it was kept safe by the Holy Spirit.
After His victory, Jesus first went through the realm of death to proclaim His victory. Then, after His resurrection, He proclaimed it on earth to His friends. Finally, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, where we see Him, crowned with glory and honor, then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool for His feet, (Heb 10:13).
---
Previously, someone had made mention in this Thread of the best known Bible passages relating to Psalm 22. Again we read that the Lord exclaims, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Of course, the bulls, buffalo, lion, dog and wild oxen, named in verses 13, 14, 17, 21 and 22 are all images of evil spirits and powers of Death which attacked Jesus during "the hour of darkness". And again, the "brothers" in verse 23 are are not to be perceived as natural but in a spiritual sense. These are the sons of God of the New Testament church which, sanctified by Christ, form a spiritual unity with Him, (Heb 2:11,12).
---
 
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The suffering and victory of our Lord was a fair contest ... the Hero of our faith against the 'strong man', (Matt 12:29). Jesus entered the strong man's fortress and bound him. Just before His death when the Lord was reunited with the Spirit of His Father, He again became the 'Son of God'. This explains why Jesus did not call God by His intimate name. It was only after His victory on the Cross that Jesus says: "Father, in thy hands I lay my spirit", (Luke 23:46).
I'm sorry, but I guess I just don't see any way that this is not heresy.

I do not agree with that.
 

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