Sermonette: Why Did God Forsake Jesus Christ?
David C. Grabbe
Given 07-Sep-19; 20 minutes
As His crucifixion was ending, Jesus quoted Psalm 22: "Why have You forsaken Me?" For human parents, the prospect of a father forsaking his son brings a profoundly negative reaction. If we read to verse 50, we understand that Jesus yielded His Spirit to the Father, indicating that God had not forsaken Him, but accepted Him after He became a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. As Jesus approached the certain death of crucifixion, He prayed to the Father relentlessly, sometimes sweating blood, demonstrating that there are times when fervent, persistent prayers are not answered immediately—as Abraham learned as he contemplated sacrificing Isaac. Our collective sins, which Jesus bore, made Him temporarily loathsome. When we deliberately sin, we make ourselves loathsome to Almighty God. The horrible crucifixion took place because of the hideous, vile sins of humankind. As Jesus was nailed to a tree, He became a curse in our stead. In the plan of redemption, Jesus had to endure the full range of penalty of death and separation from God that our sins have caused. The forsaking was a snapshot of God's unfolding plan, similar to Abraham's binding of and drawing the knife on Isaac. Jesus temporarily experienced separation and forsaking because His people were sinful.