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Seven Last Sayings Series: 4th Saying

My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?

 

Words that are very full of meaning. Being forsaken is one of the worst things that a human being can

experience. An experience that is very miserable indeed. This was a cry of great despair. That one who is innocent is condemned to death. That one who is sinless is despised. When the bringer of life is violently executed.

An innocent man’s death is not a new thing in the long history of man because from the time of Abel up to Zacharias there have always been times when innocent blood is spilled. In truth, there is a long list of names of innocent men who have been murdered or executed. However, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary is much more shocking because He wasn’t merely just a man. Though wearing the form of man, He was the Son of the Living God, blameless and without sin.

However, what is more noteworthy is how God the Father, who loved His Son very much that He declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17), allowed His only begotten Son to die in a very shameful manner. It is written that God will hide His face from a sinner, but how could He forsake His Son, who has always been His joy? Even during the Lord’s ministry on earth, the Father did not leave Him. Why at this time then? Why when the wicked men scorned His Son on the cross of Calvary did the Father seem to leave Him behind?

Man’s Sinful Nature

As the sun beat down on Calvary, everything that needed to be seen on that noon day was seen under the bright light of the sun. Man’s sinful nature, his rebelliousness against God, was at its pinnacle. He had killed God’s joy; he tortured God’s only begotten Son and hung Him on the cross to die. If there was ever any act that clearly showed man’s animosity toward God, this was it.

God’s Perfect and Holy Nature

When Christ spoke these words of mourning on the cross, the unending grace of God was revealed. Because Christ carried the weight of our sins on the cross. He died because the payment for sin is death – and death is not just the physical expiration of the body, but is ultimately the state of separation from God. Since sin separates us from God, Christ who knew no sin, at that moment He carried the sins of the world, felt the separation from God.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”– 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

And when Christ called out to His Father, the Father did not look upon His Son. And the Son knew the reason for the Father’s behavior. Christ understood why God did this to Him. It was because Christ had to become the center of the Father’s wrath because of the sins that Christ carried for all mankind.

The Son’s faithfulness to the Father

Yet, even as Christ felt the anger of the Father, even when God looked away from Him, Christ remained faithful to God. When He cried out to the Father asking why God had forsaken Him it was borne not out of lack of trust in God but utter sorrow.

Ever since God was always with His Son. Christ said that God always listened to Him (John 11:42) and that God did not leave Him behind (John 8:29), but now Christ cried to the Father but God did not heed His Son’s cry.

“O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.” — Psalms 22:2

But Christ remained trusting in God. This is evident in how Jesus Christ cried out to the Father. “My God, My God,” Jesus Christ said, fully showing and knowing that God remains to be His God no matter what happened.

 

God is Love

God can never look on sin and since He is just, He can’t let any sin go unpunished. And the punishment for sin will always be great because God’s wrath is great.

“Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.”

– Nahum 1:6

But since God is also a God of love and compassion, God directed His anger and the punishment which should be for us unto His Son, so that we would not face God’s anger. It was enough that Christ suffer for all of our sins because the holy blood of the Lamb can wash away the sins of the world.

“Just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:2

Christ’s Love for us

Christ’s death on the cross is the death of the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:13). A sinner is just like a leper in the Old Testament. God’s law decreed that lepers should be cast away from the rest of the populace, even from their own relatives (Leviticus 16:27). A sinner, just like a leper, will be cast out, forsaken and separated from God. But Christ, although blameless, was the one who was cast out on our behalf. God forsook His Son once, so that God will not anymore forsake anyone who believes in His Son.

This is the evidence of Christ’s immeasurable love for each and every one of us.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

-John 15:13

And since the debt is paid for our sins, it only remains for us to believe in Christ. We don’t need to do anything else as atonement for our sins.

Bishop  Domingo Ferriol
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