Weekly Devotional 10-10-22 “Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
This week’s devotional sprung from a discussion I had some time ago with several men about anger. One member of the group mentioned how he had lost it (so to speak) with his wife just the day before. He said that he used some very hurtful words and of course, after cooling off, was repentant of having said them. He said that He had lost his temper and the venom of his anger just spilled out. He then added these words, “I am after all, just human.” He continued with, “Even Jesus in His humanity was angry with God the Father when from the cross He shouted out, ‘My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?’”(Matthew 27:46B)
It was not my intention to draw these men away from the original conversation concerning anger, but I felt it necessary to at least comment on his statement. I told him, and the others, that it was not in anger that Jesus spoke those words, but because at that moment Jesus was utterly alone. I explained; before His incarnation Jesus was God the Son, ever existing as triune God. Whatever went on in eternity past, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were One of the same mind and will, equal in all things. They were of one purpose. Continuing, I told them that it was not in anger that Jesus shouted those words. Having made my point, I let the conversation drift back to the subject at hand, anger.
But now the question, If not in anger, why then did Jesus shout, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” The only plausible answer is at that moment Jesus was forsaken; but how can this be, if in fact He was of the same mind, of the same will and of the same purpose with God the Father? Sin! Sin is the separator between Holy God and sinful man. Second Corinthians 6:14 informs us that there is no fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness. Isn’t that what happened between Adam and God when Adam sinned? God separated Himself from Adam. Adam had been created righteous but became unrighteous when He disobeyed God. Fellowship between them was broken. Not only was fellowship broken, but his (Adam’s) disobedience brought God’s judgment against Adam. God’s judgment against sin therefore is the foundation of the answer to Jesus words “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
On the cross, Jesus in His humanity bore the sin of the world and experienced total separation from the Father and from the Holy Spirit. In His humanity, it was more than could be borne and He cried those words. It was not in anger that he cried those words, but from a separation that is impossible for us to understand. Even though God the Son left heaven’s glory and enveloped Himself with human flesh, the Father and the Holy Spirit were in communication and fellowship with Him throughout His human experience; but not on that day, not at that hour when God’s full wrath came against sin. Jesus was alone.
It is impossible for any of us to understand how Jesus could be God and yet man, but He was. It was in and from His humanity that He shouted those words. How long that separation lasted probably no one can answer rightly, but certainly it existed at the time of exclamation. As Jesus hung, nailed to the cross, He became sin for the sinner and God judged sin there as He brought His wrath to bear against Jesus. Remember, righteousness and unrighteousness cannot co-exist. At that moment Jesus was utterly alone. The weight of God’s judgment was upon Him.
Does this mean that Jesus when crying out those words had lost the sense of who He was and His mission? No.
“My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” are interesting words for sure. Remember, God the Son (pre-incarnate Jesus) was for all eternity God, equal with all that is God, but those words “My God, My God” qualified Him, as being human, and subservient to God. It was in His humanity, at that hour on the cross, that He spoke those words and in His humanity, He experienced separation.
The apostle Paul testifies of Jesus’s uniqueness (The God-Man) in his letter to the Philippians. Beginning at verse 5 of chapter 2 we read: “5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Turning to the Book of Hebrews we read: “1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the wor-shipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me– To do Your will, O God.’ “
8 Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Jesus, God the Son had to become the Son of God (Become the God-Man) in order to die for man’s propitiation. This, the eternal God could not do. It was from His humanity that Jesus cried out “My God, My God” why have you forsaken me!
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man