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Jessica Richardson wrote:

Hi, guys —

When Jesus was on the Cross why did he say:

Father, Why have you forsaken me?

Jessica

  { When Jesus was on the Cross why did He say: Father, Why have you forsaken me? }

Bob replied:

Jessica,

There are essentially two basic reasons:

  1. First, He was quoting Psalm 22 and may have likely quoted the whole thing which would have convicted all onlookers to the core because is it a Messianic psalm and one that underscores the righteous servant of God unjustly killed and subsequently vindicated by God.
  2. Second, because He truly felt the utter despair of complete crushing darkness so that we would know there are no depths to which He would not sink to rescue us and likewise know our own suffering.

On another note, some, especially Protestants suggest that because Jesus took on the sins of the world and was crucified for our offenses that God turned away from Him because He became the repugnant essence of sin. Feeling this absence, Jesus proclaimed this famous statement.

I tend away from this interpretation and would suggest that the Father was never closer, though Christ may not have been capable of feeling anything but anguish in those moments.

If we consider Abraham and Isaac as the prototype, the Father's love was never as painfully enmeshed with His Son's suffering. It can be argued that the eternal God cannot suffer but we know He is compassionate and that word means to suffer with, so in the fullness of that sense, I believe the Father was with Jesus.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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