Perhaps the most profound words ever uttered on this planet came when our Saviour, upon the passing of the ninth hour, cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34).
Here is Jesus making salvation for His people. He is suffering the most intense physical agony. But beyond that His spiritual agony is expressed in these words which decalre His forsakenness by His God – My God, My God why have you forsaken me? We truly are on holy ground here and I do not want to write irreverently in any way.
However, I am somewhat peeved with the way many comment upon our LORD’s exclamation. It seems to me far too casual, to say that He was separated from his Father. The Word does not say that. The Word says that he knew separation from His God.
The hypostatic union known in our LORD’s person means that in one person there were the two natures that of humanity and deity. In His own experience our LORD affirmed that He, in a sense, has a dual relationship with God as Father and God. So we read Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”(John 20:17).
Can we assert then that our LORD never was forsaken by His Father? He always knew harmonious favour with His Father even on the cross. However, He, on the cross, as the Son of Man (THE representative man) bearing the sins of His people, knew the grief of being separated from His God.
By taking manhood He took into His experience the reality of knowing God as God and not just as Father. Until the cross he had had unblemished favour with His God as the man who never sinned. But now at the cross bearing the sins of His people it was all different. So He says “My God My God why have you forsaken Me?”
Let us finally stop to use this whole theme of truth as a source of worship to our LORD. Why was it that He knew this forsakenness? It was because He was bearing our sins. Such spiritual grief came to Him so that eternal, relentless spiritual delight might come to us.
Why was He being forsaken? It was so that the full judgement of God against our sin could be achieved. It was the only way we could know full salvation. It was in and through our Saviour suffering and dying on the cross for us that God’s wrath against our sin was propitiated.
PRAISE BE TO HIM! HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOUR!