Did God Forsake Jesus?
Did Father really turn his back on Jesus when he was crucified?
(I prefer using Joshua, the English version of Yeshua, rather than the Greek version Jesus, that has become associated with so many incorrect concepts – somehow it makes the scriptures more real to me).
Somehow it is worse when someone you know gets hurt. I often try to imagine what it was like for our brother Joshua when he was brutally murdered, would I have been able to do what he has done?
Back to our hypothetical question, do you really think Father could have turned his back on Joshua? It goes against the grain doesn’t it? We know how much Father loved Josh (remember he said several times “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!” (Mark 1:11) as recorded by Markus from Petrus’ lectures – yes the book of Mark is really the apostle Peter’s account of the Gospel, how Joshua went about teaching the disciples that Father had given him.
While on the “cross”, Jesus exclaimed: “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).” (Matthew 27:46)
So see, God did turn his back on Jesus, as Jesus said himself on the cross! people would argue. Really? It looks clear enough, but do you really a father could turn his back on his son?
Looking at Matthew 27:46 more closely
Father had explained to Joshua in detail what was going to happen and why it had to happen this way; a lot was riding on Joshua being able to do this exactly as Father had told him to do if the damage that the enemy had, and was still planning on doing.
It was this vision of what Father was doing that helped Joshua to see it through to the end. For example he told the Pharisee Nicodemus who had come to learn more about the Kingdom: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It would still not be easy for Joshua, the physical pain would be excruciating. I remember in the movie, The Case for Christ, an investigative reporter was trying to prove to his wife that she was wrong for becoming a follower of Joshua. In the process the reporter spoke to medical specialists and they explained graphically what Joshua would have suffered, and that he certainly would have died as a result of that pain!
Remember when Peter drew his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear, Joshua said “Put your sword back in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?” (John 18:11)
Peter, who believed in the good news of the kingdom, was ready to fight to protect the King. But Joshua understood what Father had told him that he had to do and he was willing to do it.
For more than three years Joshua, in his role as a teacher (rabbi) “You call me ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because I am. (John 13:13) was teaching his disciples. Joshua knew the scriptures well.
For example when he met the sad disciples on their way to Emmaus after his crucifixion, he said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)
A rabbi could not say to his disciples: “For today’s scripture reading, please turn to… ; or take your smartphones and scroll down to…”. However, people knew key scriptures sections by heart. So, all the rabbi had to do was quote the first line and people would know immediately what followed.
So in this case (Mat 27:46) Joshua was directing his disciples and his mother in the crowd, and us today, to Psalm 22 that he had gone over with us many times. We (the disciples) knew by memory what the rest of the psalm said. We could picture Joshua quoting it just the other day! And it lifted our spirits even while we were aching inside to see Joshua suffer so much. We remember how he stressed the concluding phrase that king David was inspired to write.
Please to take a moment to read the entire psalm. It starts with king David lamenting:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
But the psalm concludes with this triumphant conclusion:
“Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” (Psalm 22:30-31)
In spite of the usual interpretation the people have that Joshua had been abandoned, that he had to suffer alone – at the crucifixion, Father was with Joshua all the time! Together they were working out that triumphant conclusion that Father had planned all along. Isn’t it remarkable that Joshua, his body wracked with pain, took the time to remind us of Psalm 22! It is like Father and he was saying, “There you are Satan, how do you like them apples?”
I know, I know, it is I saying it but it makes me so excited – wasn’t Joshua just magnificent?! It is small wonder that Satan feels threatened and tries hard to get people to have the wrong understanding.