In this study we will find God did not forsake Jesus on the cross.
1. Central to the Gospel is the Goodness of the Father to His children.
That is what the Gospel means- GOOD NEWS!
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
2. Would our Heavenly Father Really Punish His Only Son by Killing Him?
A. Reformed Theology: God turned His back on Jesus!
The teaching that God turned His back on Jesus is a central doctrine in Reformed and some Pentecostal Evangelism. It is based on the central theme that God is wrathful against sin because He is infinitely holy and man is essentially evil. This is hardly news that instills hope of a loving Father in the minds of people seeking the truth.
B. Reformed Theology: God Punished Jesus!
This teaching also claims that God PUNISHED Jesus.
The scripture used to ‘prove’ the theory of God punishing Jesus, is Jesus comment on the cross: “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”
To punish is to impose suffering or penalty, or to treat someone in a harsh manner. to handle roughly, damage or hurt.
To punish is a wrong interpretation of the word propitiation; which means appeasement.
C. Propitiation Definition.
Propitiation is defined as the act of making peace, or doing something pleasing for someone.
Appeasement means to calm, soothe, or quiet someone.
So putting this in context of God and Jesus. Propitiation does not mean God had to punish Jesus, it means Jesus appeased God. Jesus BECAME sin, and under the Old Covenant God’s wrath is against SIN.
(See Sin 101 and Sin 102, Law 101 and Law 102. )
Therefore Jesus sacrifice, where SIN died on the cross, becomes a “sweet aroma” in the eyes of God.
D. The word punishment is totally against the teaching of the Trinity.
Getting this teaching right is so important because in the eyes of the seeker, the question is asked: ‘Can I really trust a Father who would turn His back on His Own Son?’
3. If Christ Abides in the Father, How Can the Father Kill Him?
A. The Father was in Jesus
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
B. The Father was in Jesus on the cross!!!!
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:19
Therefore God did not forsake Jesus on the cross.
4. Did the Father Forsake Jesus During His Greatest Time of Need?
A. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me”
On the cross, Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
B. Jesus spoke in the Syrian-Chaldaic language specifically to the Jews.
The language Jesus used was the Syro-Chaldaic language (which was the common language in use by the Jews in the time of Christ). It is the first phrase of the twenty second Psalm. He spoke in that language, because He was addressing the Jews.
C. The first stanza of a Psalm to the Jews was significant.
It was the practice of the Jews to speak the first words of a Psalm to bring the Psalm to mind. The listeners would then know be able to recite the rest of the Psalm
This is what Jesus was saying to the Jews:- Myself, on the cross, is a fulfilment of the Messianic Psalm.
D. Psalm 22 then says that God did not forsake Jesus.
This is what Jesus was saying to the Jews:- Me on the cross, is a fulfilment of the Messianic Psalm.
E. God was near Jesus on the cross:
In the same Psalm, David makes it clear that God heard him and was looking at Jesus on the cross!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
We already know from 2 Corinthians 5:19 (point 3) Father was very close indeed!!!
F. Jesus was FEELING forsaken, He was not forsaken.
Was Jesus telling the truth? Of course – Jesus does not lie. He was on the cross in His humanity as well as His divinity. As a man He was feeling very much alone. He was not only dying but all the sins of humanity were laid upon Him, as well as our diseases and torments.
Have you ever felt like God has forsaken you? Yet we know:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6. Jesus Experienced the Consequences of Sin.
Besides letting the listeners know that what they were observing was fulfilment of Psalm 22, He was also experiencing the consequences of sin. One of those consequences is loneliness, another is discouragement, another is shame (but in Jesus’ case not guilt).
7. Abba Father Then Raised Him up and Enthroned Him.
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In summary then God did not forsake Jesus on the cross. He will not forsake you when you go through your greatest trials.
© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten 2021