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Featured How was Christ Forsaken?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I have heard several ideas (from this being merely a "book mark" to OT fulfillment all the way to God withdrawing Himself or turning His back on Jesus).

    I believe that God forsook Jesus to suffer the Cross (God's deliverance was not from but through His agony). This is opposite from God abandoning Christ on the cross, but instead is God very much present but delaying deliverance until the appropriate time.

    I believe this for several reasons. First is Scripture's insistence on God's faithfulness. God simply will not abandon the righteous because He says He wont. Second is Christ's appeal which is a fulfillment of Psalm 22. This is an appeal to God's prior actions dealing with others who were "forsaken". They called on God and He delivered them.

    We can expect God to be faithful to us, to not abandon us, precisely because He did not abandon Christ. We may suffer, but God is with us through the suffering.

    Thoughts.
     
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  2. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Member
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    You have no idea at how many hours I have pondered this question.

    Eapecially since the Bible says that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself
     
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  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    We can expect God to be faithful to us, to not abandon us, precisely because He did abandon Christ. Because Christ was forsaken during those hours of darkness, we, who deserve to be forsaken, never shall be. God did not forsake the righteous because Christ was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I believe it is important to remain faithful to Scripture (not pick and choose). So if we interpret one passage in such a way as to deny another then we know we are wrong. It is better not to make a conclusion than to make one that contradicts God's Word.

    So what do we know?

    Jesus was in some way "forsaken".
    God will never abandon His Own.
    Christ's obedience was through the Spirit.

    What ever our conclusion, it cannot be God abandoning Christ while He was on the cross. But I also think it more than a "book mark" to Psalm 22.


    "There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there." (Thomas Hardy)
     
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  5. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    The Scriptures say God is not a man, yet Jesus was a man.

    Christ was made sin, made a curse, and forsaken as are the unrighteous.
     
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  6. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Context is important. Scripture does not merely say "God is not man. (period)", but "God is not man that....".

    The Word became flesh, but never ceased being the Word (Jesus did not forfeit His nature...i.e., Jesus is the exact representation of the Father).

    The point here is that when we start developing theories that turn against Scripture then we open ourselves up to all kinds of heresy. When we pick and choose what we want to believe we start moving from God's Word as an authority to ourselves as that determining factor - rather than conforming to Christ such is an attempt to conform Christ to us.

    IN context to the OP - are there any passages of Scripture that demand the interpretation of Christ's words on the Cross be interpreted as God abandoning Christ while He was on the cross rather than God abandoning Christ to suffer the cross (a delayed deliverance)?

    The answer is not only "no", but also "to the contrary" (reference Psalm 22).
     
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  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    That brings up a good topic.

    Scripture states that God cannot change, yet Scripture also presents God as becoming flesh, becoming angry, and even rejoicing.

    I believe immutablity has to do with God's nature (e.g., God could never have actually separated from Christ). But God could become man (while without compromising His nature). Christ set aside His glory, not His righteousness.
     
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  8. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I have written this before on this forum, but perhaps it will be helpful to do so again.

    'Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”‘ (Mark 15:33-34).

    We will first look at the supernatural darkness that came over the land. There are several places in the O.T. where darkness denotes God’s wrath and judgement, especially connected to the ‘day of the Lord,’ e.g. Joel 2:31; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-15 and particularly Isaiah 13:9-11 (quoted in Mark 13:24-25). so the darkness indicates the righteous anger of God, but against whom? The Lord Jesus Himself tells us that it is against Himself. ‘Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered'”‘ (Mark 14:27). The quotation is from Zechariah 13:7 which makes it perfectly clear that God Himself is the One who will strike the Shepherd. The Lord Jesus was made sin, and God’s righteous anger against sin was poured out upon Him instead of us, with His full knowledge and consent.

    We now come to the dereliction of Christ. As I have said elsewhere, I cannot accept that “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” can possibly be read as “My God, My God, You haven’t forsaken Me.” Nor can I accept that David, who is described as a prophet in Acts 2:30, was actually a false prophet in that he made an error in Psalm 22:1 (c.f. Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Nor is it a case of ‘God forsaking God’ any more than God prays to God (e.g. John 17). The Son prays to the Father, although the Father does not pray to the Son, and on the cross, the Father temporarily forsakes the Son. To be sure, we need to be careful here. We must not suggest that the Father was not present at Calvary for the very good reason that He is Omni-present. ‘”Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Declares the LORD’ (Jeremiah 23:23-24; c.f. Psalm 139:7-12). Rather it means that the Son, who had enjoyed the constant and closest possible relationship with His Father, now lacked completely any sense of His presence until the sun appeared once more and He cried, “It is finished!” The Greek word tetelestai can also mean, ‘It is paid’ (c.f. Matthew 17:14) or ‘it is accomplished (c.f. Luke 9:31). In fact, our Lord’s cry meant all those things. The ransom was paid in full, reconciliation between Man and God was accomplished, and His suffering was about to be ended.

    This forsaking of Christ is an integral part of the atonement. Christ ‘is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.’ His is a complete salvation. I shall not be condemned for my sins because Christ was made sin for me. I shall not suffer the pains of hell because Christ has suffered them on my behalf on the cross. I shall not be shut out from the presence of God (2 Thessalonians 1:9) because Christ was, for those hours, shut out from the felt presence of His Father on my behalf.
    [Taken from my blog article Penal Substitution and the Trinity More detail on the Cross and the Trinity available there]
     
    #8 Martin Marprelate, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  9. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    While Christians have disagreed on what this "forsakenness" means, no one here is translating the verse to read "My God, My God, You haven't forsaken Me".

    Can you provide a reputable source who translates the verse as you suggest....or is this a "strawman argument"?
     
  10. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    Jesus who became sin was separated from the Godhead. God's Holiness would not allow sin in His presence He was alone on the cross Jesus as God and man , being man we share in His death , being God only He could pay the sin debt. (to Himself for us)

    egkataleipō
    abandon, desert
    leave in straits, leave helpless totally abandoned, utterly forsaken to leave behind among, to leave surviving
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Thank you for the definition.

    Given your definition "forsake" could mean to desert OR to leave in straits. Why do you choose to interpret it as Christ being separated from the Godhead.
     
  12. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    He became sin and that was why He God left him. God is too Holy to have a relationship with sin, This describes our situation and the reason for Jesus to come. Sinful death is separation from God.
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    That is your interpretation. But as you point out, "forsake" can mean to "leave in straits", which corresponds with Psalm 22 and the nature of God as described in the Bible.
     
  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No Christian could possibly believe that Christ was separated from the Godhead, so we are one-all on the straw man stakes. :D
    And you are aware, I suppose, that the term "leave in straits" includes the word "leave"?
     
  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I don't believe that it is a strawman argument. Either God did forsake Christ or He didn't. I don't see that there is a half-way house.
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    :Laugh you are joking ...right:confused:?
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    It is a strawman argument because no one here is arguing against the idea God forsook Christ (either, as most Christians probably believe, to the cross or, as you believe, while He was on the cross).

    A "strawman" argument is when one argues against a position no one has taken to gain the appearance of a "win". Yours is a strawman argument because we all believe Christ was forsaken to suffer the cross.
     
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  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    When jesus was the Sin Bearer, at that time upon the Cross, God the father treated Him as If he himself was the chief of all sinners, so he experienced exactly what lost sinners will in hell, forsaken by God!
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    No.
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Jesus in His deity was always in the Trinity, but in His humanity, he experienced exactly same as any lost sinner would due to being sinners!
     
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