2000-05-22 - Forsaken by God

Prophecies Fulfilled Series, Part 15

John 14:30, 31 I will not speak with you much more, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me the commandment, even so I do. Arise let us go from here.

The Prophecy

Psalm 22:1 My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

The Fulfillment

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little one's to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong." The most simple but maybe the most profound song ever written. And let me be clear from the outset, this is not meant to be a "popular" devotional. I know I am about to shatter many of you when I say that while Jesus loves, and loves to the uttermost, it is not His love of us that matters but rather it is His love of God the Father that matters.

It is in turn, because Christ loves God the father, that the father, who loves Christ, can love us also. You may say this is simply a theological issue, but it is not. It is all tied up in this issue of Christ being forsaken by God, the one He loved. Why was he forsaken? He was forsaken because He had a mission to fulfill, one that He struggled with, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will but as Thou wilt," Matthew 26:39.

Christ knew the burden of sin and what it was to feel the wrath of God the Father. It was God the Father who He loved and to feel His wrath for sin was something that in Matthew, we see Him three times ask that if it is possible, may this cup pass from Him. But it was His love to the Father, that led Him to obey, even to an obedience of death on the cross.

This is the hard part of the devotional. It was not Christ's love to us that led Him to die for sin, it was His love to the Father that led Him to be obedient to death on the cross for sin. This is not often how we hear it today, we often hear about, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, as if we were all mystics. But it is God the Father who forgives in response to what Christ did in obedience to His will.

It is because of the work of Christ that the Father forgives because He looks at us in the image of Christ and in the work that Christ undertook to obtain forgiveness for all that the Father would give to Him. So it is not so important that Jesus loves us, as the above profound song says, but rather that Jesus loves the Father and obeys the Father. And in turn the Father loves us, because He sees us in the likeness of Christ, who is perfect and who had no sin.

So for Christ to be forsaken by God is the most profound of the prophecies. It was He who He loved who forsook Him. It was the very father whom He loved who would turn His back on Him. Such was the atonement of Christ. It was that painful love that was unrequited. Love went ignored And yet it was all for our behalf. The Love of Christ was to the Father and the love of the Father, who Forsook the Son, is now placed on us, those whom He has given to the Son. This is in one sense a very theological issue, in another, it is key to understanding the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Blest cross! Blest sepulcher! Blest rather be the man that there was put to shame for me." John Bunyan

"Christ suffered in his soul the dreadful torments of a person condemned and irretrievable lost." John Calvin

Soli Deo Gloria,