By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics: , ,


Did God really forsake Jesus when He was dying on the cross?


Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) has puzzled many. Jesus is actually quoting the opening line of Psalm 22 and using it to express His deep agony on the cross. He is suffering the penalty for our sin, in our place.

The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death includes two dimensions—physical and spiritual. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God. Since Jesus was dying for our sin as our substitute, He was experiencing the agony of separation from His Father. It was the agony of hell.

There is an unfathomable mystery here. Jesus was both God and man united in one divine Person. He could not suffer and die with respect to His deity, but He could suffer the agony of separation from the Father and actually die physically with respect to His humanity. And He did, that we might, through repentance from sin and faith in Him as our Savior and Lord, be forgiven of our sin and reconciled with God.

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray … and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Our greatest need is for forgiveness—and Christ came to make that forgiveness possible. Christ bridged the gap between God and man, and by faith in Him that gulf can be erased and we can come to know God personally. Faith is not just an idea in our minds or even a conviction in our hearts. It is a commitment of our lives to God and His truth.

Let God’s Word, the Bible, be the source of your understanding about God and His love. But beyond that, open your heart to Christ and commit your life to Him. It is the most important step you will ever take.

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  1. Art Burt says:

    Jesus was quoting psalm 22 and throughput the psalm it speaks of all the things Jesus went through. My enemies surround me like a herd of Bulls. My strength is dried up. My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs. They have pierced my hands and feet. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and cast lots for my clothing.
    Now verse 24……For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted AND HE HAS NOT HIDDEN HIS FACE FROM HIM BUT HAS HEARD HIM WHEN HE CRIED TO HIM.
    Jesus became sin and like us when we sin, God seems far off but scripture clearly states that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. 2Cor 5:19 says that God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world to himself

    1. Melissa says:

      I agree. It always bothered me to hear preachers say that God turned His back on Jesus when the scriptures say I will never leave you or forsake you.” I feel Jesus was just feeling forsaken, like we do when we have sinned. Jesus was in his human form on the cross.

  2. robert miller says:

    When Jesus quoted this psalm, David for a short THOUGHT God had forsaken him but realized that had not. It was quoted to bring up thots in the psalm about them & Him.

  3. Daniel Malloy says:

    Jesus was a blood sacrifice for our sins, sanctified through the blood of Jesus not the “spiritual death” of Jesus. Jesus said “into thy hands I commit my spirit” the Father did not abandon Jesus in any way shape or form because Jesus is God, dont believe the lie.

  4. Kyle Leibach says:

    I sooo needed this! Thank you! I am going thru a horrible trial right now and it seems to me like God has abandoned me. I have been reading the Psalms and praying them back to God and started seeing how so much of the Psalms seem to be about Jesus and I am on Psalm 22 right now. I had always believed that God abandoned Jesus on the cross- especially since Jesus cried out, asking why He did. But Psalm 22:24 goes on to say “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard”. For Jesus to feel that way- now I have strength to know I am not alone in feeling that way. God has not hidden His face but it only momentarily appears that way.

  5. Dasith Manthila says:

    Absolutely correct

  6. Maxwell Marsah says:

    From your note; I have come to an understanding that Jesus at the ninth hour was separated from humanity,and not only from humanity but also from the Trinity. Therefore experiencing a great agony in the physical and also in divinity. Then, I have come to know how was the prize that Jesus played for me. thank you Mr. Graham.

  7. Renua says:

    Having an understanding of God’s love for mankind gives me peace beyond measure. Thank you Jesus!

  8. Debbie Medlen says:

    I cannot begin to understand the price that Jesus paid for all sin, not just mine but all.

  9. chima wilson says:

    Please how can I grow in faith through the word of God. Also I will like to be having a steady bible study with you, thanks

  10. michele amato biancaniello says: