Christ Forsaken?

Posted by Matt Postiff February 22, 2017 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Bible Texts 

I received a question today about what the Bible means in Matthew 27:46 when it quotes Jesus speaking about being forsaken by God.

Why did Jesus cry, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me," when he was on the cross in Matthew 27:46? It appears to be a quote of Psalm 22:1 and could be read to be part of his feeling on the cross. I am also thinking that Jesus bore the sin of all mankind and that as a result of bearing that sin, he felt separation from God the Father. Am I on the right track?

You are on the right track. Righteous Jesus is calling out to God in the way an Old Testament saint would call out to God for deliverance from his enemies. The believer trusts in God for that rescue.

But in this case, there would be no deliverance, at least not before death had taken its toll. In judicial wrath, God had turned against His own Son. This Son, although He never sinned at all, had at that time "become sin for us" so that we might "become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). So not only did Jesus feel a separation from God; there in fact was a separation between them. This happened until Jesus paid the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). Sin separates from God (Isaiah 59:2). This is why we need a mediator to bring the sinner to the holy God. Only Jesus is able to do that.

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