Why did Jesus cry out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

“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, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'” – Matthew 27:45-46

If Jesus is God, why would He say this?

First, we need to realise that Jesus was both man and God and as such if He used the term God it was not a problem as He did recognise His father as being God. This does not prohibit Him from also being part of the Godhead, which of course many other Scriptures show.

Jesus was also quoting from Psalm 22:1, which begins, with the words, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Jesus used these words in order to draw attention to the fact that He was fulfilling it there on the cross. See for instance Psalm 22:11-18.

Psalm 22 was written about 600 years before Christ was born and at that time, crucifixion had not yet been invented. However, when Rome ruled over Israel, it became the Roman means of capital punishment imposed upon the Jews whose biblical means of execution was stoning. Jesus is pointing to the scriptures to substantiate His messianic mission.

We also need to consider 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

It is possible indeed quite probable that at some moment on the cross, when Jesus became sin on our behalf, that God the Father could not look upon His Son because of the sin. It does indeed say in Habakkuk 1:13 that God is too pure to look upon evil. Therefore, when Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), that the Father, spiritually, turned away.

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