There is an ongoing thread (at least one) which has brought up implications that I believe are worth exploring. For my part, working through the issue of penal substitution with Martin Marprelate has help solidify my position and increase my understanding of my old view (Reformed PST) and my new view (not-Reformed PST). Part of this is that while Martin has answered many questions that I have asked, the answers have not proved persuasive. They have not added a depth to the presuppositions that I am trying to work through and either anchor down biblically or let loose from my theology. There are several questions, and I think that perhaps some deserve a venue of their own. Many penal substitution adherents have concluded that at the cross the Son was spiritually separated from the Father. On another thread I was accused of denying Matthew 27:46 when I questioned this conclusion. Martin also offered this passage as proof that the Father and Son were separated. So I am going to, in advance, provide my views, listen to yours, and perhaps learn through dialogue. Was what Jesus experienced on the cross a separation from God? Matthew 27:46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” My first observation is that the passage does not necessarily indicate that the Father and Son are spiritually separated. Certainly ἐγκαταλείπω can mean to leave behind (as in a separation). But it also can mean to forsake or desert in the context of refraining to come to one’s rescue – in this case, to forsake in terms of not rendering aid. I believe the context demands the latter interpretation. Here is why: First, on the cross Jesus is quoting the Scripture he is fulfilling (Psalm 22). The Psalm begins “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” and defines this condition as God being far from saving him. Yet God is holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Then the psalmist speaks of his suffering, and through his sufferings he glorifies God. Verse 19 is a cry that God be not far off, to come quickly and deliver his life. Verse 22 forward praises God as Deliverer. Why is this important? Nothing in the quote or the Psalm in its entirety speaks of a spiritual abandonment. Nothing speaks of literal separation, but instead of an anticipation of deliverance. On the cross Jesus is fulfilling this Psalm, and he will be delivered for God will not abandon his soul to Sheol, or let his Holy One see corruption (Psalm 16:10). Second, the witnesses did not interpret Jesus’ cry to mean that God had forsaken him. Instead they said, “This man is calling Elijah,” and “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” There was an anticipation generated from Jesus’ quote, not an affirmation of abandonment. Verses 47-48 deny the implication that Jesus was questioning or affirming that God had abandoned him. When we interpret Matthew 27:46 strictly within the context of the NT passage as well as in terms of the OT reference, it does not support the idea that on the cross Jesus experienced the spiritual abandonment of the Father. That said, I know it does not deny that interpretation either. John 10:30-33 does that well enough. Theological issues with the view that God separated himself from Jesus at the cross include the insistence of Jesus that he and the Father were one. If God is immutable, and if Jesus is God, then Jesus cannot be un-God for a time. It diminishes the doctrine of the Trinity and ignores the deity of Christ. Throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke of his deity, of him being God, as this oneness with the Father. If we lose that then we lose the Atonement all together. Is there any biblical evidence that on the cross Jesus experienced a separation from God, or is this a product of our own reasoning? If there are no passages saying such, then why have people built so much upon this doctrine? If there are passages that prove this, then what are they?