Did The Father Forsake The Son?

24 04 2014

Question: On the cross did God the Father forsake the Son?

Answer: No He did not.

This is one of the most commonly misunderstood truths in the Bible. There was no time whatsoever that the Son ceased to be God which means there could be no time that He was forsaken by another member of the Godhead. This thought is usually included in emotion driven songs or sermons where the preacher wants to express how sad it was for the Father because He had to forsake His Son. I have even seen videos where Jesus (well an actor playing Jesus) hangs on a cross and a tear drop falls from heaven.

According Scripture it did not break the Father’s heart to sacrifice the Son it actually brought Him joy.

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)

Some argue that God cannot bear sin and since Jesus bore the sin of the world then it must mean the Father turned His face away. Wrong again because God constantly and daily bears with the sin of mankind.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

No sin is hidden from His sight.

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)

Why then did Jesus cry out what He did? Well let’s look to the passage in question.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Jesus said something like 7 things from the cross. Those words that He spoke were carefully chosen words and served a specific purpose.

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” (John 19:28)

Here we see Jesus saying something for the purpose of fulfilling the Scriptures. The Psalms give many of the things that the Messiah would say from the cross and to demonstrate who He was and fulfill the prophetic purpose of the verses He said those things. The statement of being forsaken is also from the Psalms.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalms 22:1)

So how do we know that the Son wasn’t actually forsaken by the Father. Well first of all the arguments for such an event are that the Father couldn’t bear to look on sin but we see from the Scriptures that He does. The second argument is that it broke the Father’s heart to sacrifice the Son but we see from Scripture that it did not. So how can we know Jesus was just fulfilling the prophecy of Psalms 22:1 and was not actually forsaken? Look to this same chapter of Psalms to see what is said after the Psalmist gives several other prophecies concerning the death of the Messiah.

“For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” (Psalm 22:24)

Being a fundamentalist and Biblical literalist I have to side against traditions of men and side with the Scriptures that Jesus was not forsaken nor did the Father turn His face in fact when Jesus cried unto Him the Father heard Him and was satisfied.

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