God Forsaking Christ?


#1

Why does Christ on the cross before death yell out "my god why have you forsaken me?" or something to that nature? I have heard that it refers to one of the psalms. But if in the literal sense of forsaking it doesn't seem right God would never forsake his own son the God man. even if Christ was taking up the sins of the world he is still sinless and still the God man.

Thanks
May the peace and love of Christ be with you!
-Simple


#2

Read Psalm 22 in its entirety. It is at first a lamentation. The psalmist feels abandoned: his enemies are doing horrible things to him, he is treated as nothing even though he is in the right. But at the end, the Psalm becomes one of exultation to God. Christ exemplifies this Psalm perfectly. When He said the beginning, it infers the whole Psalm, not just the part referenced. Christ fulfilled the Psalm before.the very eyes of those that persecuted Him. He died and rose. He turned defeat into victory. He was never abandoned, though He surely must have felt desolate (though we can't wrap our minds around what Christ truly went through, Him being God and dying for sins and all).


#3

[quote="PeaceInChrist, post:2, topic:312994"]
Read Psalm 22 in its entirety. It is at first a lamentation. The psalmist feels abandoned: his enemies are doing horrible things to him, he is treated as nothing even though he is in the right. But at the end, the Psalm becomes one of exultation to God. Christ exemplifies this Psalm perfectly. When He said the beginning, it infers the whole Psalm, not just the part referenced. Christ fulfilled the Psalm before.the very eyes of those that persecuted Him. He died and rose. He turned defeat into victory. He was never abandoned, though He surely must have felt desolate (though we can't wrap our minds around what Christ truly went through, Him being God and dying for sins and all).

[/quote]

Thank you for giving this explanation. I have spent years and years wondering about Jesus' words, now this makes sense.


#4

[quote="simpleusername, post:1, topic:312994"]
Why does Christ on the cross before death yell out "my god why have you forsaken me?" or something to that nature? I have heard that it refers to one of the psalms. But if in the literal sense of forsaking it doesn't seem right God would never forsake his own son the God man. even if Christ was taking up the sins of the world he is still sinless and still the God man.

Thanks
May the peace and love of Christ be with you!
-Simple

[/quote]

Your sense is right on that it is not possible for the Father to forsake the Son. This is a violation of the doctrine of the impenetrable Trinity (Divine perichoresis).

The modern innovation of the idea that God poured out His wrath against sinners on Jesus while He was on the cross, and turned His back on the Son is a heresy emanating from the Reformation, specifically Calvin and followers. It underpins the doctrine of substitutionary penalty, also a heresy.


#5

In times of suffering, pain and anguish, we cry out to God from the bottom of our hearts. It seems as if God has abandoned or forgotten us. So many people go through that experience. I remember a lady dying of cancer. She had her Bible by the bed side. I asked if I could read a passage for her and what passage she would like, and the answer came: from the the book of Job. Like Job, she was addressing herself to God and trying to understand her suffering. And she prayed, and asked for communion. Jesus prayed the psalm 22. And it is not a psalm of despair. On the contrary: "For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him." (Ps 22:24). And breathing out his last, Jesus said: "Father, into you hands I commend my spirit" (Lk 23:46).


#6

[quote="malambo, post:5, topic:312994"]
In times of suffering, pain and anguish, we cry out to God from the bottom of our hearts. It seems as if God has abandoned or forgotten us. So many people go through that experience. I remember a lady dying of cancer. She had her Bible by the bed side. I asked if I could read a passage for her and what passage she would like, and the answer came: from the the book of Job. Like Job, she was addressing herself to God and trying to understand her suffering. And she prayed, and asked for communion. Jesus prayed the psalm 22. And it is not a psalm of despair. On the contrary: "For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him." (Ps 22:24). And breathing out his last, Jesus said: "Father, into you hands I commend my spirit" (Lk 23:46).

[/quote]

I think this is a good summary of the diffference between what the Apostles taught, and the modern heresy of penal substitution.

Our felt experience of abandonment by God does not equate to abandonment.

Heb 13:5-6
or he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." 6 So we can say with confidence,

"The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?"


#7

[quote="PeaceInChrist, post:2, topic:312994"]
Read Psalm 22 in its entirety. It is at first a lamentation. The psalmist feels abandoned: his enemies are doing horrible things to him, he is treated as nothing even though he is in the right. But at the end, the Psalm becomes one of exultation to God. Christ exemplifies this Psalm perfectly. When He said the beginning, it infers the whole Psalm, not just the part referenced. Christ fulfilled the Psalm before.the very eyes of those that persecuted Him. He died and rose. He turned defeat into victory. He was never abandoned, though He surely must have felt desolate (though we can't wrap our minds around what Christ truly went through, Him being God and dying for sins and all).

[/quote]

I will try to set forth my own theory on Jesus' cry on the cross. The explanation of Jesus' cry on the cross expressed the desolation and the separation from God caused by sin. He took our sins on himself and experienced the desolation the sins caused. However since he was also divine as well as human, he was able to do what no other human could do. He was able to cross that divide caused by sin that separated mankind from God.

I don't know if I am explaining this right. :shrug:


#8

[quote="PeaceInChrist, post:2, topic:312994"]
Read Psalm 22 in its entirety. It is at first a lamentation. The psalmist feels abandoned: his enemies are doing horrible things to him, he is treated as nothing even though he is in the right. But at the end, the Psalm becomes one of exultation to God. Christ exemplifies this Psalm perfectly. When He said the beginning, it infers the whole Psalm, not just the part referenced. Christ fulfilled the Psalm before.the very eyes of those that persecuted Him. He died and rose. He turned defeat into victory. He was never abandoned, though He surely must have felt desolate (though we can't wrap our minds around what Christ truly went through, Him being God and dying for sins and all).

[/quote]

Thank you a wonderful response

Also thank you everyone else who posted.

-Simple


#9

*Isaiah 53.4-6, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."*

Jesus knew God was smiting and afflicting him because of our sin. He knew that even the minutest details of the crucifixion were spelled out in the OT. He evn did and said things for the very purpose that those Scriptures might be fulfilled down to the minutest details.
For instance, Psalm 22 and this example:
John 19.28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, “I thirst.””


#10

[quote="cap76, post:9, topic:312994"]
Isaiah 53.4-6, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him **stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted**.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Jesus knew God was smiting and afflicting him because of our sin. He knew that even the minutest details of the crucifixion were spelled out in the OT. He evn did and said things for the very purpose that those Scriptures might be fulfilled down to the minutest details.
For instance, Psalm 22 and this example:
John 19.28, "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, "I thirst.""

[/quote]

Guonophore literally just pointed out that penal substitution makes no sense. If Christ suffered any grief or sorrow on the Cross, it was not as a result of the Father. I would say it was possibly because of the pain of rejection and loss He felt at seeing His beloved creations reject Him (sin) throughout all time. Sin is totally contrary to His perfect and good nature. It hurts us when we suffer loss or sins against us. How horrible would it be for Christ, who knew not sin, to suffer on account of the sins of those He loved? I would almost imagine it as the pain of the death of a loved one, or some severe heartbreak, except infinitely worse (well, not infinitely, because only God is infinite, but a lot worse than we can imagine).

Ultimately I am unfamiliar with any literature or approved Church doctrine regarding how Christ suffered on account of our sins. I can say with certainty, though, that it was not the Father that caused it. Surely it was the Will of the Father that the Son die for many, but it could not have been the Father that inflicted injury upon the Son. Perhaps Guonophore can shed some light on the subject.


#11

[quote="PeaceInChrist, post:10, topic:312994"]
Guonophore literally just pointed out that penal substitution makes no sense. If Christ suffered any grief or sorrow on the Cross, it was not as a result of the Father. I would say it was possibly because of the pain of rejection and loss He felt at seeing His beloved creations reject Him (sin) throughout all time. Sin is totally contrary to His perfect and good nature. It hurts us when we suffer loss or sins against us. How horrible would it be for Christ, who knew not sin, to suffer on account of the sins of those He loved? I would almost imagine it as the pain of the death of a loved one, or some severe heartbreak, except infinitely worse (well, not infinitely, because only God is infinite, but a lot worse than we can imagine).

Ultimately I am unfamiliar with any literature or approved Church doctrine regarding how Christ suffered on account of our sins. I can say with certainty, though, that it was not the Father that caused it. Surely it was the Will of the Father that the Son die for many, but it could not have been the Father that inflicted injury upon the Son. Perhaps Guonophore can shed some light on the subject.

[/quote]

It reminds me of a book by Baptist writer Steve Chalke (The Lost Message of Jesus) wherein he warned that some forms of penal substitution kind of make God look like a cosmic child abuser.


#12

[quote="simpleusername, post:1, topic:312994"]
Why does Christ on the cross before death yell out "my god why have you forsaken me?" or something to that nature? I have heard that it refers to one of the psalms. But if in the literal sense of forsaking it doesn't seem right God would never forsake his own son the God man. even if Christ was taking up the sins of the world he is still sinless and still the God man.

Thanks
May the peace and love of Christ be with you!
-Simple

[/quote]

PeaceInChrist gave the correct answer, however, I would like to add some more to that explanation:

During Christ's time (and for several hundreds after) the Scriptures were not divided into chapters, verses and such. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He wanted to bring to attention to His Apostles and disciples there, that His death was not a defeat: that in the end He would triumph. By reciting the first few lines of what we know now as Psalm 22 (Prayer of an Innocent Man), it immediately brought to mind the whole content of this psalm/message.

Just as when we recite the first few words of a very well known nursery rhyme, -- for instance, "Twinkle Twinkle little star" -- those who are very familiar with this immediately know the rest of this whole nursery rhyme. This is what Jesus did when He was dying. He was struggling painfully for every breath, and wouldn't have been able to say much, therefore, just saying those first few words sent the whole message. :)

Psalm 22

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!

blessings,
CEM


#13

He probably thought that Angels en mass would come down and save him and smote the wicked.
Didn't happen.


#14

[quote="PeaceInChrist, post:10, topic:312994"]
Guonophore literally just pointed out that penal substitution makes no sense. If Christ suffered any grief or sorrow on the Cross, it was not as a result of the Father.

[/quote]

That is why I quoted from the prophesy of Isaiah.

I would say it was possibly because of the pain of rejection and loss He felt at seeing His beloved creations reject Him (sin) throughout all time.

But isn't Jesus asking why his God forsook him?

Sin is totally contrary to His perfect and good nature. It hurts us when we suffer loss or sins against us. How horrible would it be for Christ, who knew not sin, to suffer on account of the sins of those He loved?

That's the doctrine of imputation. How horrible would it be if Christ, who knew no sin, were made to be sin by his Father? (2 Corinthians 5.21) "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that on him we might become the righteousness of God" Not by touching Christ's nature, but by imputation. (our sins counted against Jesus so that God could wipe out our guilty record and give us a clean one)

I would almost imagine it as the pain of the death of a loved one, or some severe heartbreak, except infinitely worse (well, not infinitely, because only God is infinite, but a lot worse than we can imagine).

Yes, and the anticipation of it would be great enough to cause Jesus to sweat, as it were, great drops of blood.


#15

[quote="guanophore, post:4, topic:312994"]
Your sense is right on that it is not possible for the Father to forsake the Son. This is a violation of the doctrine of the impenetrable Trinity (Divine perichoresis).

The modern innovation of the idea that God poured out His wrath against sinners on Jesus while He was on the cross, and turned His back on the Son is a heresy emanating from the Reformation, specifically Calvin and followers. It underpins the doctrine of substitutionary penalty, also a heresy.

[/quote]

Wonder if this explains why Gandhi did not become a Christian ; his contacts might
have been mostly nonCatholic , who too subscribed to the heresy and made him possibly think that the Christian truth / God was not all that much difft . from the many hindu gods who too embody very much the traits of fallen nature , of envy, lust, lies , fighting with each other etc : - , bringing about a fatalistic sense of peace and acceptance /tolearnce - from believing , if the gods cannot be any better ..

' My God , My God , why have You abandoned me ..' is what Adam should have cried , right after eating the fruit , when he/they felt ashamed and alone , to recognise that it is he /they , who had abandoned God , a Father , who still came searching for them and gave them hope that one day , the enemy hold would be broken , through The Woman !

Feeling abandoned by God, often from the same circumstances as above, is very much part of our times too and would explain , one way or other, our struggles to keep rebelling , in unfaithful ways !

The Lord, allowing Himself , to feel the pain of the separtion , after having willed , to lay down His life , so that The Spirit can be poured into the hearts of His children , a Spirit , to undo what the enemy spirit has done for centuries , a Spirit , to help us to trust again, in the goodness of God , in The Father, who is one with The Lord ..

Thus , our Lord allows the sufferings , laid down His life, so that His children too, would come to HIm, may be esp. through HIs Mother, to feel the comforting closeness , to His love and remain in hope , to drive away the enemy lies that would try to bring about despair !

' My hour has not come yet ' - did He foresee this hour, when it is the presence of The Mother , that brought Him, the comfort , at the human level ..a nature that He had also allowed , to feel pain and sorrow and thus no longer was all in the prefection of goodness that God had created us in ! and thus to again ,

In this too , He show us The Way , to allow The Mother , to help to relieve the despair ..when the enemy can come in with the same tactics , even in the form of subtle or overt hatred against parents , which can lead to many ungoldy decisions !

Thus, .meditating on her sorrows, to know that The Lord allowed such , so that , in the midst of the failures and suffeirngs of oneself or the other , to have
the oneness of compassion and the the Holy Spirit to alight and and strenghten , just as He did , for the bl.Mother too ..thus to not let the wine of trusting love , to run out ..

to save one , from the same lie , from The Garden, on how The Father does not love us enough !

May many who feel abandoned too and thus have turned to the enemy company , through various life style choices and such , be comforted and strenghtened , through the Spirit , who ever shadows The Mother , to be thus led into the Heart of the Triune God of total sharing and love !


#16

Apologies for the spelling and sentence structure errors in the previous post .

Rereading Psalm 22 , thought the following could be of interest too -

Verse 5 - ' My God, I call by day but you do not answer , by night but I have no relief ' ;
the reference to night could be to the darkness that covered the earth when The Lord was on The Cross and the refernce to the day ,to the time prior to that , while He was being crucified or even the 'day ' before The Lord felt the separtion from The Father's love ..yet still choosing to trust enough,to go to that very same Father , to garner us the strenght in The Spirit and to undo the enemy calims for all the occasions , when we turn away from The Father , to go after the enemy !

Verse 7 ' But I am a worm , hardly human ' - what sin does to us , that The Lord himself warns as the last stage of those who reject the Divine Nature of goodness and holiness , that through His Passion ,and Resurrection, He wants to bestow on us, trhough The Spirit !

Verse 8 - ' All who see Me mock Me ' - this verse might be of special significance , to those who use St.Paul's words on how 'all have sinned ' ; yet, in the above , the reference seems to be to those who see The Lord , in the darkness - like the demons that were surrounding Him with jeers ..

We know that the 'all ' in there would not have included His Mother / Magdalene , St.John and other women who were there , in anguish .

Amidst the agony of the torturing spirits , He turns to thoughts about His Mother - " You drew me forth from the womb .."

In the Rosary prayers , we too invoke the intercession of The Mother , for the hour of death -
trusting that The Lord would only be pleased to honor her prayers to protect us too - she , who was at His side .

Verse 32 - ' That they may proclaim to a people yet unborn , the deliverance You have brought ' - and seems that verse might be particularly apt for our times , esp. with regard to those yet unborn ..

so that , the fear and hatred against life , do not make God's children to become

like many dogs , into packs of evildoers !

Peace !


#17

[quote="cap76, post:14, topic:312994"]
That is why I quoted from the prophesy of Isaiah.

But isn't Jesus asking why his God forsook him?

That's the doctrine of imputation. How horrible would it be if Christ, who knew no sin, were made to be sin by his Father? (2 Corinthians 5.21) "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that on him we might become the righteousness of God" Not by touching Christ's nature, but by imputation. (our sins counted against Jesus so that God could wipe out our guilty record and give us a clean one)

Yes, and the anticipation of it would be great enough to cause Jesus to sweat, as it were, great drops of blood.

[/quote]

I am not sure what the doctrine is on the nature of how Christ died for our sins (imputation, as you say). Christ is not literally saying that God is forsaking Him. He cannot be. The eternal unity of the Trinity would forbid this. This is not to say that Christ didn't feel desolate; he obviously did. Also, the Father, who is all good, would not pour out punishment on His Son. The Blood of the Lamb was enough. I do not know which denomination you belong to, but it is ridiculous to limit God by saying He poured out wrath on Christ. God is infinite, so His justice and mercy are also infinite. God cannot pour a finite amount of justice out on Jesus that would somehow appease His wrath. Christ is the perfect offering. God no more poured His wrath out on Christ than He did on the passover lambs. The blood (the life) was required. Anything Christ suffered additionally to His death was a result of sin, not of Divine punishment. To interpret Isaiah as God pouring wrath out is ridiculous, given the concept of the Trinity.

Also, separating any Person from the Trinity would imply that there are multiple gods in the Trinity, able to sustain themselves apart from the Trinity. You see the problem with this, yes? The Trinity does not consist of three gods in union, but rather three Persons in one God. Even to say that Christ's human nature was separated from the Trinity is to separate Christ's natures, which is also impossible.

I am not sure exactly what stance you are taking. It would be helpful if you would clearly say whether you are advocating some type of penal substitution. As of now, I am unclear on your theology.


#18

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