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God Did Not Forsake Jesus


This study will find that God did not forsake Jesus on the cross.

1. Central to the Gospel is the Goodness of the Father to His Children

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.

Matthew 4:23

2. Would our Heavenly Father 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. This teaching focuses on God’s wrath against sinners because He is infinitely holy, and man is essentially evil. God being wrathful is hardly news that instils hope of a loving Father in people’s minds seeking the truth.

B.  God Punished Jesus – His only Begotten Son!

Reformed 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?” We will look at why this is a misinterpretation in Section 4 below.

To punish is to impose suffering or penalty or harshly treat someone; to handle roughly, damage or hurt.
To punish is a wrong interpretation of propitiation, which means appeasement.

We look at propitiation in Propitiation – Mercy, Not Punishment.

C. The word punishment is totally against the teaching of the Trinity.

Getting this teaching right is so crucial because, in the eyes of the seeker, the question is asked: ‘Can I 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.

John 14:10

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?

Psalms 22:1

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?”

Matthew 27:46

As I indicated earlier, reformed and pentecostal theology generally teaches that God this proves that God forsook Jesus on the cross. However, we need to think through the minds of those Jesus was talking to.

B. Jesus spoke in the Syrian-Chaldaic language specifically to the Jews.

The language Jesus used was the Syro-Chaldaic language (the common language used by the Jews in the time of Christ). It is the first phrase of the twenty-second Psalm. He spoke in Syro-Chaldaic 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 to recite the rest of the Psalm.

This is what Jesus was saying to the Jews when He quoted the first verse of Psalm 22.:- Myself, on the cross, is a fulfilment of this Messianic Psalm. I am the Messiah.

D. God was near Jesus on the cross:

In the same Psalm, David clarifies 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.

Psalms 22:24

We already know from 2 Corinthians 5:19, Father was very close indeed!!!

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

Psalm 22 then says that God did not forsake Jesus.

E. 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 dying for humanity’s sins and their 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.”

Hebrews 13:5

5. Jesus Experienced the Consequences of Sin.

Besides letting the listeners know that what they were observing was the fulfilment of Psalm 22, He was also experiencing the consequences of sin. One of those consequences is loneliness, and another is discouragement, another is shame (but in Jesus’ case, not guilt).

6. Abba Father Then Raised Him 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.

Hebrews 12:2

In summary, then God did not forsake Jesus on the cross. He will not leave you when you go through your most significant trials. God was in Jesus on the cross, and He is in you too!

© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten 2022

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