The Garden of Gethsemane, near Jerusalem (Luke 22:39-46) is where Jesus Christ began to be sorrowful and troubled. He himself said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” and in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. This commenced the suffering of our Savior.
Jesus is indeed the suffering servant. But what do you think is the climax of His suffering? As we what we’ve looked at before, people can say that the climax is the cross but they cannot go beyond the physical suffering of the Son. We do not want to diminish the importance of His physical suffering under the hands of the wicked people, but that alone doesn’t give us the full picture of what took place at the cross of Calvary.
We can never understand Christ’s suffering apart from the fact that the Father forsook His Son and poured His wrath upon Him.
In the previous chapters, we discovered that Christ was made sin, He took the sins of His people upon Himself and became a curse on our behalf before God as He hung on the cross.
In this chapter, we will learn that Christ bore our sin in order that He might suffer God’s wrath against it. In doing so, He would satisfy the demands of God’s justice and make it possible for God to be both just and the justifier of sinful men (Romans 3:25-26).
He was forsaken and He suffered the divine wrath.
THE SON WAS FORSAKEN BECAUSE OF OUR SINS
In Habakkuk 1:13, the prophet knows that God’s eyes are too pure to look at evil,
and He cannot look at harm favorably (NASB). That’s why he is complaining and perplexed as to why evil prosper. God cannot smile at sin. God’s holiness cannot stand the sight of wickedness. He hates it completely!
In Isaiah 59:2, the only reason why men were separated from God is sin. It is also the reason why God turned his face away from them and will not listen to them.
The fall of man, its state in sin and misery is not due to some lack in God. It is man’s sin that became the “middle wall of partition” excluding them from the Divine presence (Ellicott); it is sin that builds the impassable wall.
The true culprit of man’s misery is man himself—because of his enmity toward God’s person and his rebellion against God’s law. None is to be blamed for the Father’s abandonment of the Son but the sinful human race. He was forsaken because of our sins.
Ephesians 2:12 describes the situation of those who are outside of Christ. These were the condition of saints in Ephesus, those who Gentiles in the flesh before by they were rescued by God’s mercy.
- Separated from Christ. This is separation and independence. The sinner lives in separation or independence from the Giver of all life, joy, and peace. The unbelievers are living happily without acknowledging Christ yet at the same time living wickedly while being sustained by Him.
- excluded from the people of Israel. The Greek word means “to alienate or estrange” it literally means to be non-participant. The sinner is estranged from God’s people. They have no part with the chosen people of God.
- strangers to the covenants of the promise. The sinner is a stranger to all the promises of God. This is why the unbelievers had no right to claim any promise in the Scriptures and apply it to them hastily. The only message that is for them is to repent and believe the gospel. Unless they do that, they cannot take hold of God’s promises to those who love Him.
- Without hope and without God in this world. This is possibly the most dreadful result of man’s sin. They may have temporal hope in this world but they will end up hopeless because their main problem has not been resolved: sin and God’s wrath upon them.
The sin of God’s people stood as an impassable wall that made fellowship with God impossible.
THE SON WAS FORSAKEN WHEN HE TOOK OUR SINS
Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 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?”Matthew 27:45-46 NASB
Jesus is the forsaken One.
To fix this great separation between God and His people, Christ stood in our place, bore our sin, and was forsaken by God. He suffered abandonment from God and was cut off from His favorable presence until the full penalty for sin was paid.
The cry of Jesus from the cross is recorded here in Hebrew and Aramaic. Eli is Hebrew, but the rest is Aramaic. Mark records the entire lament in Aramaic (Mark 15:34). The word “forsaken” is translated from the Greek word egkataleípo, which means, “to abandon, to desert, or to leave in the straits.”
This verse is a quotation from Psalm 22:1, where David, in his time of trial, sensed something of the absence of God; but only Christ experienced the full measure of God’s total abandonment. He was groaning – a “roaring” like that of a lion. Christ’s cries of anguish from the cross broke forth as terrible roars. His plea was inexorable; His cry was incessant; His anguish was immeasurable.
The sense of Father’s love and favor was withdrawn from the Son. No sense of affection and love. He was left alone to suffer the wrath of God when He bore our sins.
There was no response from God; there was only silence and the absence of His favorable presence. We were separated from God because of our sin. To end this separation and bring us back into the favorable presence of God, it was necessary that Christ suffer the terrible forsakenness of God that we deserved.
THE SON WAS FORSAKEN YET HE TRUSTED IN GOD
In Psalm 22: 3, 6, we read the words of Christ and He confessed why God forsook Him.
Indeed, the Messiah’s words on the cross are words of anguish but not words of hopelessness. This is a very important point that we should never forget when we read His words. He was obedient unto the point of death. He has hope in God and placed His complete trust in Him.
Yet You are holy. In the midst of immeasurable and unprecedented suffering, Christ declares His unwavering confidence in the holiness of God. There was a just and holy reason behind God’s forsaking of Him—He had become the bearer of His people’s sin and the object of God’s holy wrath.
But I am a worm and not a person. Though all the blessings of Mount Gerazim should have been lavished upon Him, and He has every right to receive it, yet all the judgments of Mount Ebal were poured out on His head. He was accursed on the tree.
As believers of Christ, this should also be our attitude when we are suffering and afflicted.
Though the Messiah didn’t have a sense of God’s love and His sight, He experienced being forsaken and abandoned when He 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 Him, My God, My God.
THE SON WAS FORSAKEN THAT WE MAY BE ACCEPTED
This is the beauty of the Savior’s suffering, that He suffered that we may not suffer under the wrath of God in hell. He was forsaken that God may not turn His face away from us. He was cast away that we may have confidence to come before God’s throne of mercy as forgiven and accepted sinners. The New Covenant believer is always reminded of this truth when He partakes of the Lord’s supper.
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.
If you have trusted in Christ, you are accepted by God, you have His righteousness clothed upon you, and you are washed by His blood.
If you still have not surrendered your life to Christ, you do not need to suffer in hell forever, trust in the One who suffered for sinners. You are a sinner, deserving to be abandoned forever in the outer darkness. Yet, if you are burdened by your sins, come to Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners, and He will not cast you out.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Note: This lesson is from our weekly Youth Bible Study Based on Paul Washer’s Discovering the Glorious Gospel.
3 thoughts on “The Son Suffered 1”
Love your Gospel posts, they are always so weighty!
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To God be the glory! We always need to explore and get deep with the gospel.
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