Mat 27:46 (NIV) “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
That verse used to bother me. As it says in the Book of John (8:28, 12:49, &14:31), Jesus did, and said, only what God told him to do and say, and yet God abandoned him! It surprised me, just as it must have surprised Jesus!
I thought to myself, how could anything surprise Jesus and how could God forsake him when he had done and said only what God had commanded! Well, the answer to my amazement only came with more understanding of Scripture.
One must understand death, to understand Matthew 27:46.
There are two deaths. Physical death and spiritual death, as taught in Scripture. Death is separation, not loss of life, as it seems to those who do not understand. The first death is a physical death: total separation from the world and everything in it. The second death is a spiritual death: total separation from God and everything in Him. Those who are lost will spend eternity separated from our Father and those who are covered by the sacrifice of Jesus will spend eternity with God. No one looses their life: as most understand death. Life is the breath of God (Gen 2:7) and therefore permanent. Man does not have the power to give back to God, what God has given: even though the lost will desire to do.
It is said, that if you want to understand someone, then put yourself in their shoes, think as they think. Well, try to think as they think, as it is not possible, but it seems possible to understand why someone does, what they do, if you can see the situation as they do.
When I try to view things as I think Jesus did, on the cross, it seems to me that Jesus would have been temporally confused. He had done and said, only what our Father wanted him to, even to the point of death, and yet God abandoned him!
Jesus knew that, if we were to have any chance that we could be saved, he must die in our place. It seems to me that Jesus thought that he must die the first death for us. However, that is not the death that Jesus died, that we no longer must die. Everyone still must die the first death, but not everyone the second death. It was the second death that Jesus died in our place.
I am probably stepping out of line here, as I usually do, but it seems to me that Jesus did not understand that he had to die the second death, and it came as a surprise, when God abandoned him.
That is not to say that God abandoned Jesus forever, but it probably seemed forever, for both God and Jesus. Jesus had no sin of his own and therefore sin did not stand in the way of a reuniting with God and Jesus knew that he would always be with his Father. However, just for a second, it seems as though he was confused, and yet he did not loose his faith.