WHY DID GOD FORSAKE JESUS?

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.

9 Responses to WHY DID GOD FORSAKE JESUS?

  1. Liferestored says:

    Great post. Interesting take on Jesus dying the second death. I recently have been thinking of this also. Let me share with u what I have been thinking. Jesus and the Father are one. God made a point to tell his desiples “greater love hath no man than this” for those who lay their life down for their friend. Our God leads us by example. When Jesus asked the father “why has thou forsaken me” he was in a way forsaking his own life. The ultimate act of love. For the experience to be real, he had to keep the Jesus (himself) separate from the Father (himself). However, none the less is God forsaking himself for us. Awesome.

  2. astudent says:

    Liferestored,

    It is very easy to see Jesus as God, because Jesus only did and said what his Father wanted him to. (John 8:28, 12:49&50, 14:31) That would make him the exact representation of God, which if we were not told otherwise, would seem as if he were God.

    I prefer to think of Jesus as the Bible says and that is the son of God. God said that he was His son, not He, Himself. Also, Jesus called himself the son of man and I do not think God would call Himself that. Also, God told David that the son of God would come from David’s own body.

    2Sa 7:12-16 (NIV) When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'”

    It is said that God can do anything. However, I do not believe that God can die. If He did then we would all cease to exist, because everything would cease to exist. God adheres to His own rules (do to others as you would have them do to you) so He cannot die without violating that rule (I do not want to die), so He cannot die. It seems to me that separating part of Himself and that part dieing would be a sham.

    Because Jesus did what God would do, if He were to come to earth, then it seems to me that Jesus also died in our Father’s place just as he also died in our place! Because Jesus was the exact representation of God, we can see that, if it were possible for God to die He would die for us! It seems to me that is what you are also saying, just a little different way.

    I have heard it said that Jesus is God by many Christians, but there are too many verses that seem to say otherwise for me to accept that view. However, I do like it when everybody has their own view, because it shows they are thinking about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Scripture.

    Keep studying and thinking about what you read and I will do likewise.

    Glad to hear from you again and thanks for the comment.

  3. astudent says:

    Liferestored,

    After having said all of that, I remembered this verse.

    Isa 63:5 (NIV) I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.

    Also, Isa 51:5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.

    We do look to God and wait in hope for Jesus, our salvation. So, perhaps there is a way to reconcile both our views. I do not yet know, but I trust God will clear it up for me.

  4. Liferestored says:

    I apriciate your view and study. Thank you. I do not claim to be right, only what I believe God reveals to me. I also do not think I am above (not) hearing Him correctly all the time! Ha. I’m sure I do with complexities such as this. I can’t help wonder though when Jesus said of the Father they are “one”. And who can be without sin other than the one and only God? Or when Jesus explained to his desiples “I saw satan fall from heaven like lightning”. I believe he was giving his desiples a glimps of who he was/is. I will not, however, state that you are wrong. It all still complexes me. Thanks again for another great post

  5. D. Douglas says:

    I believe that Jesus quoted Ps 22:1 while on the cross. While only Matthew and Mark record that statement, all 4 gospels have reference back to Ps 22 multiple times. Jesus, always the teacher, teaches those around Him that He was the Messiah, the fulfillment of scripture.

    The Jews were always asking for a sign so they could believe. He always answers with scripture. “He saved others; himself he cannot save. He is the King of Israel; let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe on him.”
    Matt 27:42 (ASV)

  6. astudent says:

    D. Douglas,

    I agree that Jesus quoted Psa 22:1 in Mat 27:46. It is so clear that I did not think to say it. Thanks for the comment. If you think, because Jesus knew Psa 22:1, it changes anything that I said, I would disagree.

    The last part of the verse is a question to our Father, “Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” This is not a question that would be asked by someone that already knew the answer.

    Now, one can correctly say that Jesus only said what God told him to say (John 12:49&50), but that statement was said before the cross.

    Psa 22:19&20 (NIV) “But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.” These are not the requests of someone that knows there is no possibility that their life can be saved, and it was not saved, but returned to him. If his life had been saved we would all be doomed, because there would be no savior for us.

    Well, that is my understanding. If you see differently, please explain how and why.

    Thanks

  7. Jerome E. Goodwin Sr. says:

    The Holy Spirit can not die therefore was removed at the death of Jesus so the Son of man might be resurrected as will we who receive the Spirit.

  8. Pamela Wright says:

    In Africa there are Hebrew people who speak a language like of our King Saviour and they say the translation is wrong. It is not why have you forsaken me but in their language means, “This, this is for the Sabbathkeepers.”

  9. astudent says:

    Pamela,

    I run in to this kind of claim often. That is people say that the words of the Bible do not have the same definition as the one that was translated.

    Usually it is some language expert that claims to be better at translating than the thousands of experts that have translated the words of the Bible before him or her.

    I have resolved to believe that the words are protected by God and because of that there are no words that are greatly different. That is not to say that the words are always translated exactly the same, because they are not. Sometimes, when I read a different translation, I understand things that have eluded me, but said a slightly different way, become clear.

    I have to admit that this is the first I have heard of a whole tribe speaking a different language and yet calling it Hebrew!

    I personally would not accept this different translation, because it comes from those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Jews still reject Jesus and if one accepts Him they are rejected by the others. The Jews were not truthful about Jesus when He was on this earth, so do you think they are today?

    Though Jesus is the King of the Jews it was not written in the Hebrew language on the sign placed on the cross! (John 19:20) I take that as to say, because they rejected Him, He rejected them: as a nation, not as individuals.

    Though “This, this is for the Sabbath keepers.” is true, because everything that Jesus said and did was for the Sabbath keepers (Jews). But it is way too different to be a correct translation of Matthew 27:46.

    Well, that is my view of their claim.

    By the way, Jesus spoke both Hebrew and Aramaic, so it is not exactly correct to say, or imply He only spoke in one language.

    The first human being that Jesus appeared to was a woman (how does that sound to one to whom many men think women are less than them, because they are women?) and she cried out in Aramaic, not in Hebrew. When surprised, as she was, it would only be natural to respond in one’s own natural language, not in another ‘learned’ language.

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