My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Why did Jesus cry out from the cross, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? What was He experiencing? What did He mean? Did His Father, with whom Jesus had always been One, along with the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity, actually Forsake His Only Begotten Son? If so, did the word forsake have the same meaning and impact as it does today? Was something unseen transpiring causing Psalm 22 (the origin of those words) to come out of His heart and mouth? Is there more to this cry than we have been taught? Is it possible that some of our teaching on this event has been incorrect? There are some things from scripture about this that we can know. 1.) From the beginning and throughout Scripture the promise of the Savior was given. The Savior would be crucified as a sacrifice for the world. There are too many prophecies for me to document here so I'll list only a few. Gen 3:15; Gen 22:18; Isaiah 53. 2.) I will briefly focus on Psalm 22 since this was the Scripture Jesus quoted from the cross. V.7 All who see Me mock me V. 8 They say: He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver Him V. 11 Be not far from Me; for trouble [is] near, for [there is] none to help. V. 16 They have pierced My hands and My feet. V. 18 They divide My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing. This Psalm is very prophetically detailed in its' description of Jesus as the Lamb of God giving His life for us. This Psalm plus many other Scriptures help us to know that Jesus' conception, birth, life, and death went as planned from the beginning. There were no surprises. Jesus knew why He came and the suffering that would come with His obedience to the Father. 3.) Jesus became sin for us though He never sinned. 2Cor. 5:21 Again, no surprises here. 4.) Jesus was the Last Adam who obeyed God even to death on the cross. The First Adam did not obey God. I want to speak on this First and Last Adam concept at this point. Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way and area that we are tempted but without sin. This is where the Last Adam and the First Adam differ. There are differences and similarities when comparing Adam and Jesus. The first Adam was fully human and created with no sin nature. The Last Adam (though fully God) was also fully human and was born without a sin nature. The First Adam, along with Eve enjoyed close, intimate relationship with their heavenly Father. Jesus was God the Son, One with the Father from eternity past. Adam, Eve, and Jesus knew only closeness with God. No separation. No distance at all. Both Adams were tempted. Adam number one chose to sin. Jesus did not sin. The disobedience of Adam and Eve brought about an immediate wall of separation between themselves and God, all of nature, and each other. Rom 5:12 Therefore, since through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death spread to all men, for all have sinned: Adam knew and felt distance from and a real fear of God. He turned his back on God and tried to hide. But God did not turn His back on Adam and Eve. Though He had to discipline His children He still wanted close, intimate relationship with them. Adam and Eve on the other hand ran away and tried to cover up their sin and hide themselves. God's pursuit of man began. His call to us and His provision for an intimate relationship with us culminated in the sacrifice of His Son for all of creation. Jesus (fully human, born without a sinful nature) chose to BECOME sin in order to reconcile us back to God. He did not commit any sin, but He became sin. Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses…. Adam…. is the pattern of him who was to come. Rom 5:15…. For if through the offence of the one many died, how much more did the grace of God, and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to many. Rom 5:16 And the effect of the gift….resulted in justification. Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned through that one; much more shall….righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. Rom 5:18 Therefore, as the offence of one brought judgment upon all men, resulting in condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one came justification that brings life for all men. Rom 5:19 For just as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom 5:20 The law entered, that offences might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more: Rom 5:21 So that as sin has reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It was while hanging on the cross that Jesus, becoming sin for the world quoted Psalm 22 and cried "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? " What happened that This Person of the eternally One Trinity felt abandoned? The only answer I have ever heard as an explanation of Jesus cry is that, "God cannot look on sin. When Jesus took on the sin of the world God had to turn His back on His Son." So, as Jesus was the Last Adam living in total obedience to God to the end, He had to be abandoned by His Father. Is this accurate? To this point what do we Know the Scripture reveals? 1.) Adam and Eve though created with no sin chose to sin. 2.) Jesus, the Last Adam, born without sin chose obedience. 3.) The cross and all it entailed was no surprise to Jesus as His life, death, etc. were spoken of in prophecy. Jesus knew what His mission was. 4.) God did not turn His back on Adam and Eve when they sinned. 5.) Through the First Adam we are all born into a state of separation (not forsakenness) in our relationships with each other, creation, and God. 6.) God CAN, DOES, and always HAS been able to look on sin. Let's deal with this last point: God turning His back on Jesus is Never mentioned in Scripture. It is based on Habakkuk 1:13 "You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong ...This portion of this verse is taken out of context and misapplied. The rest of Hab.1:13 reads "why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?" Put in its proper context the person speaking in this verse is saying, "Since You are too pure to even glance at evil and wrong how can You sit back and easily watch as people betray each other and the wicked devour the righteous?" If God cannot look on sin there are some real questions which must be addressed. Why did God not turn His back on Adam and Eve? How could God speak with Satan several times in Scripture face to face (Job being the prime Scripture)? Eph 2:4-5 God pursues us relentlessly and looks on us while we are dead in our sins. He still pursues us. God is holy, but His holiness (and any other aspect of His nature) is not so fragile as to become compromised by having contact with us. He is so great, mighty, and full of love and grace, that our thimbles full of sin cannot contaminate nor drain the ocean of forgiveness that is Himself. Why did Jesus cry out as He did? Yes, there was physical suffering beyond description. Yes, the wrath of God against sin was poured out on Him instead of us. In all of this His Father did not need to turn His back on Jesus. Since Jesus was tempted in every way we are was there anything He had not experienced as the Last Adam up to that point on the cross? I believe it was the same separation Adam and Eve felt after they sinned. He felt the same separation from His Father that we are born into. Until He actually took on our sin there was no opportunity or reason for Him to know any schism between Himself and God, but until He experienced the full impact and result of the sin He became He couldn't have known the total of the human experience. He had never known ANY distance, separation, or damage of relationship of any kind with the Trinity of which He had always been a part. The details of His prayer in Gethsemane in Luke 17 let us witness how important the experience the Oneness of the Trinity was to Him. When He went through what Adam did it was agony. Also, the words "God turned His back on His Son" are not in the Bible. The idea that God cannot look on sin is not in Scripture. The fact that He has never abandoned us, nor His pursuit of us is made plain. Even while we were enemies, dead in our sin He has done everything to make a way for us to be reunited with Him. Though Jesus felt forsaken He was not abandoned. In Psalm 22 we read in verse 24 "... Neither has He hid His face from Him…" In verse 19 He calls God His strength and asks for His help. Other verses in Psalm 22 indicate He knew God was near Him. Verse 22 I will declare Thy Name….I will praise Him… Verse 24 He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard. He does know in every way what it is to be us. He totally identifies with us in every way. Though the First Adam put all humanity in a position of alienation from God, He has never abandoned us. I also believe the Father could not have totally abandoned Jesus because it would have meant that the eternal Unity of the Godhead, at that point in time, would have ceased to exist. For a moment, there was not God the Son. His divine nature would not just be set aside, it would not be. To 'forsake' in the way we use the word today would have the result of Jesus being CUT OFF from the Godhead. This would have been more than an injury to the UNITY. It would have done away with the Oneness. One last brief point: 2Timothy 2:13 says, "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF.