Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fourth saying, Jesus, diverts the attention of the hearer to a question, actually a cry of anguish, between him and God his Father. He cried out with a loud voice, saying Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which when interpreted means “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? This question reflects that Jesus is the forsaken Christ.
Not only is Jesus the forsaken Christ, but he is the fulfilling Christ as well. Centuries earlier, David, the king of Israel, had prophetically expressed this in a song, talking about the Messiah, who will be forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1-2), scorned and mocked (Psalm 22:7), who will be poured out as water (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34), whose hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16), who will thirst (Psalm 22; John 19:28), who will be stripped naked and his garments will be parted (Psalm 22:18), and who will not despise nor abhor the affliction of the afflicted (Psalm 22:24) accepting the will of God (Matthew 26:39, 42) and take on our affliction upon himself (1 Peter 2:24), who would cry out to the God (Psalm 22:24), who will bring about everlasting life (Psalm 22:26; John 3:16), and whose kingdom of righteousness will be established henceforth (Psalm 22:27-31). Jesus being forsaken and crying out his Father is a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy, sung by David. Jesus is the fulfilling Messiah.
The Savior, Jesus Christ, who had promised his disciples that he would never forsake them (Hebrews 13:5) was now forsaken. This question can be attributed to the fact that God the Father, the One and only Holy God (1 Samuel 2:2) can have no communion with unrighteousness as light cannot have any communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). When light shines darkness dispels – darkness cannot coexist with light – they are mutually exclusive. All unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17; 1 John 1:9). And Jesus, who knew no sin had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) which severed the communion he had with God, his Holy Father (John 17:11), who hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19). The wages and end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15) and God created man to be a living soul (Genesis 2:7), not a dead being. So Jesus’ emotion being forsaken is indeed a reflection of his and his Father’s love for us – a love so great – that God felt justified to forsake his own son, so he would not have to forsake us (Romans 5:8). God forsook God so he would not have to forsake us.
This further accentuates that God hates sin, but not the sinner. We are not sinners because we sin. Instead, we sin because we are sinners – having inherited the sinful nature, because of our forefather Adam’s willful disobedience and sin (Romans 5:14). In order to denature our sin nature and create in us a clean heart (Psalm 51:10), a heart that can live forever (Psalm 22:26), and make us a new righteous creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21), Jesus had to denature his Holiness and was made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and be forsaken from his Father.
Points to ponder:
Jesus is the forsaken and fulfilling Christ. He is the Messiah – the one and only Messiah.
Had Jesus not have the need to cry out, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? then the world today would be crying out that same question – “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
You and I are not forsaken by God! and Jesus has promised that he will never leave us not forsake us.
Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Psalm 22:1-2 (KJV)
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.