Whenever we watch movies or read stories, we always see to it that we do not miss the climax. It is where we find the beauty of the movie, and through the climax we understand the point of the story. In the Scriptures, we have the greatest story ever told, that is the gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ. In His 4th utterance, we see the climax, and it happened to be at the middle of the 7 sayings. It is also the only last words of Christ that was recorded twice in the gospels (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34).
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabaktanei?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
This mark the climax, peak, or the pinnacle of the Messiah’s sufferings.
We see these expressed in the Messianic Psalm,
Psalm 71:11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
The worst distress in the human heart is nothing compared to this. We do not have an idea how it felt like to be forsaken by the same God who is with Him throughout eternity.
Message: Christ was forsaken by God on the cross to bear the wrath of God against our sins BECAUSE OF OUR SINS.
Why was He forsaken?
He was forsaken because He bore the sin of mEN
The duration of carrying the sin was from 6-9th hour (v.45). For that 3 long hours he was forsaken – not included the time before he was crucified or 3PM. This is the time of slaying and offering of the daily sacrifice for the Jews. God inflicted on him for satisfaction for those sins of ours. Isaiah 53:4-6 emphasizes that he carried the sin of His people on the cross. He is the sin-bearer
This is confirmed by the following verse in the New Testament
- 1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
- 2 Cor 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
If God is Holy (Habakkuk 1:13), and His Son bore the sins of His people, what do you think God’s treatment to His Son will be? God cannot look at sin with favor so God forsook Him!
Let’s see these words in Psalm 22 – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
In what sense what He forsaken because of our sins?
It is not total abandonment. He did the will of the Father and He is pleased. It does not also pertain to God’s essence since He is present everywhere. There is still a divine support by which he was able to endure his suffering on the cross
It is a withdrawal of His sense of God’s love and favor. No sense of affection and love.
For the Lord to hide His face from us for a moment is unbearable. If this is true of renewed sinners, how infinitely more so of the beloved Son of the Father! He who hung there on the accursed tree had been from all eternity the object of the Father’s love.
God designed to intensify the sufferings of Christ to the uttermost, forsook him in time of His greatest distress so that Christ will meet man’s greatest need, that is salvation from sin.
Look at what your sins cost the Beloved Savior!
John Flavel observes that, There is in it also an emphatical reduplication which shows with what intensity it was uttered; not singly, my God, but he doubles it, “My God, my God,” as distressed persons use to do. (The Seven Utterances of Christ on the Cross)
What made Him cried so intensely? When there’s no affection because of our sins, what did He felt? He felt the full force of God’s wrath. It is important not to miss this.
He was forsaken to bear the wrath of God
The soldiers had ruthlessly mocked Him: they had arrayed Him with the crown of thorns, they had afflicted Him. They put Him to open shame. The crowd and the thieves despised Him. They pierced His hands and feet, yet did He endure the Cross, despising the shame. Yet in all of this He remained in silence (Isaiah 53:7).
Arthur Pink comments, “But now, as the concentrated, full force wrath of God (propitiation) descends upon Him, He cries, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Surely this is a cry that ought to melt the hardest heart!” (The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross)
Today, it is sad to know that even amongst evangelical, the idea of God’s wrath and propitiation is not acceptable. But to miss this very important truth is to miss the forsakenness of Christ on the cross.
Let’s look at the following verses about God’s wrath.
- Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. He can’t simply smile at sin. God hates sin!
- Psalms 5:5-6 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
- 1 John 2:2 –He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. He is the propitiation or the wrath-removing sacrifice. Romans 3:25 – propitiation by His blood. Christ is “The” propitiation – there is no other way to appease the Father to remove the wrath of God from His people apart from the sacrifice of Christ. The demand of God’s justice is perfection.
- Hebrews 9:5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. – translates the noun hilasterion as mercy-seat “covering”, a pure gold used as the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (where the two tablets were) in the Holy of Holies. The sacrifice’s blood is sprinkled on it on the annual day of the atonement. Because of it, God is appeased (propitiated) and He can be merciful to His people.
- John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” This means that He drank the cup of God’s wrath.
- Jeremiah 25:15 Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.
Christ is the covering to his people; their persons are clothed with his righteousness, and all their sins are covered by it; and they are secured from… wrath to come – John Gill.
The Scripture proclaims that It pleased the LORD to crush Him (Isaiah 53:10). Like a crushing water from a dam that should fall upon us. He was bearing the sins of His people; the Lord had laid on him the iniquity of us all; there was no one to comfort him in his heaviness; and the light of God’s face was for the time withdrawn from him.
The sin that arouses God’s anger is covered through Christ’s death and blood on the cross. He turned wrath into favor and reconciled His people to the Father.
It is the climax because in these words, we have a glimpse of the weight and intensity of Christ’s suffering on the cross when He bore the wrath of God against all of our sins.
Fellow believers, be amazed with God’s love. This is the very reason why we sing, “I’m forgiven because You were forsaken, I’m accepted, You were condemned… Amazing love, how can it be? That You, my King would die for me?” Love Him, love your Savior! Live for Him! Die for Him!
Trust in the LORD when you feel abandoned. Though he didn’t have a sense of God’s love and His sight, He experienced being forsaken and abandoned when drank the cup of God’s wrath; and yet his soul rests firmly on, he trusted in Him by faith, and his will is fully subject to the Father. He still called My God, My God.
When you are afflicted, remain trusting in the LORD. Think of what it costs that we you be accepted. And throughout your life, trust in the finished work of Christ alone. You can never pay for it. Meditate upon this truth daily.
But for those who remain n unbelief, this is the portion of every sin, and will suffer God’s fierce wrath in the lake of fire for all eternity: no grace, no joy but all is misery. In hell, if you won’t repent, you will be forsaken by God. If you will not trust in Him who was forsaken by God because of your sin, you will be forsaken and abandoned in hell forever. You can never pay for your sins. But Jesus paid it all.
An English Presbyterian Puritan John Flavel once wrote, If I, (said one) should live a thousand years, and every day die a thousand times the same death for Christ that He once died for me, yet all this would be nothing to the sorrows Christ endured in His death. SOLI DEO GLORIA!
5 thoughts on “The Forsaken One”
So thankful for the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!
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Solid post Jeff
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May God be praised! I preached this during our special gathering on the last 7 sayings of Jesus.
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Glory to God!
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