The fact that Jesus cried out on the cross "My God My God why have You forsaken Me?" doesn't mean God forsook Him, neither it means that Jesus believed He was forsaken.
But why Jesus said "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me" if he didn't believe God had forsaken Him?
To find the answer, we need to consider that the cross is the mediator between man and God.
That means Jesus was presenting man to God and also God to man.
So when we look at the Cross we must see both. From the day Adam ate from the forbidden tree, he kept hiding from God. In all His life he thought God had forsaken Him. And that's why Psalm 22:1 is projecting that belief toward God.
When Jesus said "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me" He was quoting from Psalm 22:1. But He later, on the cross said " Father, into your hand I commit my Spirit." So, He never believed God had forsaken Him as Adam did. Instead by this action He nailed this wrong belief of man on the cross and showed that God had never forsaken man.
This doctrine of how God deals with mankind must be re-visited once again. The belief system that God was in need of someone to take our punishment so we wouldn't be punished must be changed.
We must begin to understand that the cross was the reconciliation of man to God and not God to man.
That's why when Jesus said "My God, My God why have you forsaken me", He reconciled man to God by showing Him the true nature of God. That God has never, and will never forsake man at any time.
But how this one sentence of Jesus "My God, My God why have you forsaken me", brought recompilation. What is the meaning of that.
We will look at many scriptures in this post and you'll hear yourself saying "aha", or "oh wow" many times.
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[The following is the full transcript of this teaching from our new YouTube series ‘What Jesus Meant‘. Please note that this video, features Rose and Masoud speaking unrehearsed–they are unscripted and unedited, filmed in one take.]
Representing God to Man and Man to God
Rose: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining us with another teaching of WHAT JESUS MEANT Series. So in this teaching we are going to talk about a very famous verse that Jesus, when He's on the cross, crying out to God says:
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
We can find that scripture in Matthew 27:46. Masoud is going to help us today to know why Jesus said that. Did God really forsake Him? Or what really happened on the cross? And what can we really see deeper in this?
Masoud: Well, one thing that I have to say is, there are lots of verses in the Bible that they're mentioned and they were never supposed to be taken as the truth. They were supposed to be taken as a point into truth.
Meaning when we see, for example, somebody betraying Jesus, when Judas betrays Jesus, that's not a commandment for us to betray Jesus. That's to show what betraying Jesus means. That shows us and illustrates what it is. Now, when Jesus cries out on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" The easiest thing is to think that Jesus has a feeling that God has forsaken Him. And all our theology therefore would be based on His saying, which is God forsook Jesus.
Rose: And you know, if you see that God forsook His own Son, then we can think that He might forsake us one day as well.
Masoud: Exactly! Because if that's the case, if God so loved Jesus, but at some point of time, He turned His face from Him and He kind of forsook Him, so then how can I have confidence, that God would never forsake me? That's the question. It's so easy to take all these verses to believe them the way they are written. And what is the fruit of that belief? I mean, what kind of life comes out of that type of understandings?
We have to understand when Jesus came, He came as the Word made flesh, which means He came to represent all truth about who God is to mankind. That's one. But Jesus was also a perfect representation of mankind to God. So we have to see both of them.
The Generation of Adams
Now, if you look at how the whole story of mankind starts, it starts from Genesis. It starts from a place that the first man ever, meaning Adam, came to a belief that God forsook him, he was the one that believed that, he was the one that when God came to him after his disobedience, hid himself and didn't come to God.
It wasn't God who departed from Adam.
It was Adam who departed from God.
Now if we see how that mindset became the mindset of mankind, and mankind thought that is forsaken by God, now man wants to do something to please God, or to be accepted by God, and God would be pleased by him.
So that's the kind of mentality which came not by Jesus, but through Adam, believing that I am forsaken. I am alone. I have no one, and there is no one that I can trust. There is no one that I can rely on. There is no one that, in my struggle, I can cry out to. That’s Adam, and his generation of Adams.
We've talked about this over and over, that whenever God in history came to mankind, mankind turned his back to God. The perfect representation is the nation that God built, which is the nation of Israel.
They were the ones that constantly turning their back to God and turning to idols. Now, why did they do it? Why did they become idolaters? Was it something that they wanted to do?
That was out of their wrong understanding concerning God. They didn't see God as the one who is, their savior, their protection, their hope, their shepherd.
There were only a few people in history that believed all those things. There are people like David, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah, Isaiah. These are the people that believed differently. They came to believe that God has not forsaken mankind. God in fact, is working in mankind to bring mankind to Himself.
The Father Never Forsakes the Son
Now, when Jesus came, He was the one that came in the midst of a slavery of mankind, perfectly represented in the nation of God. They were slaves to carnal mind. They were slave to wrong beliefs. There were slaves to sin. He came to this group of people and He began speaking about the Father. He was the One that constantly talked about God, the Father who loves the Son, by saying: The Father shows the Son all things or the father has committed all judgment to the Son. He was the One that constantly said, anything that the Father has, the Son also has. That as the Father has life in Himself the Son has life in Himself too. So He's the one that brought the relationship of Father and Son into the picture, once again, which mankind had completely departed from that.
Now Jesus speaking about the Father, the One who Jesus said "you call Him your God", He's always showing that, this is the One that is always with Me. He never leaves me. In fact, anything that I do is because I see Him doing. Anything that I say, it's because I've heard Him saying. So He's always showing that connection. Always, always!
Now we come to day of crucifixion. People have taken Him to crucify Him. Now imagine there is someone that proclaimed, for three and a half years, there is a Father, and He Himself is the Son of this Father, which they didn't believe it.
They said, show us the Father and He said, if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. That kind of union, that kind of unity was constantly spoken, demonstrated and proclaimed among the people by Jesus. Now He's on the cross. And He's in weakness, just as any human being can be. He's being spit on. He's being mocked, He's being reproached. All those things are happening and He is not opening His mouth. Now, this is the story. This is the context. This is the scene that I wanted all of us to see.
If You are the Son of God, Prove it
Now we can go back, read and understand why Jesus came to a place that He said:
My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?
So let's go to Matthew 27. First we want to read that verse which is verse 46. And then we are going to look at the context:
And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani, that is My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?
Now this He said after a series of events. We are going to read and see what was happening. So let's look at verse 38:
Then two robbers were crucified with Him. One on the right hand and another on the left. And those who pass by blasphemed Him wagging their heads and saying, You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself.
Do you see how the mocking begins to happen? Because He's been for three and a half years speaking concerning how He's going to build a new thing, He is going to destroy the old, speaking of everything that is new in Christ and everything that is old in Adam. And He's been doing that. He has the power to do this. He's been showing that He has the authority to forgive. He's been showing that He has the power to resurrect and heal and cast out a demon. So He's been demonstrating that forever, and now they say, well, if that's true, save Yourself!
If we remember what Jesus said, the first time that He ever preached in Luke chapter four, He said "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me for He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor…". And immediately after that He prophesied and He said there would come a day that you would say "Physician, save Yourself. Heal Yourself".
Now this is the story. This is the scene. What He prophesied happened when He was on the cross. This is the place that they say, save Yourself. They say, if you are what you say you are, prove it. What are they saying? Do what you say “I am” to prove that “You are who you say You are”.
Do you know where that wisdom comes from? That comes from Adam. Adam is the one who believed “I am what I do”, but God and the Son of God is “I am who I am”. That's the difference. That's the twist that came to mankind. That's the tree of knowledge of good and evil that man ate from, which is “if I do, I'll become”. Adam didn't believe “I am”, and so he believed “I do”, he believed “I am what I do”. So now in this place, the scribes and the Pharisees, the religious people of the day tell Him, if that's true, save Yourself, which means we're not going to believe that “You are who You are” unless “You do”. Do something. Doesn't this sound familiar?!
This is the same voice that came to Jesus in wilderness. That's the first temptation. The first time that He heard “You are” My Son in whom I am well pleased, He went to wilderness. And what was the first temptation? "If You are” the Son of God, turn this stone into bread.
If you are who You are, do it and prove it.
And that is not the wisdom of God.
With the heart one believes unto righteousness...
So I'm not going to do something to become righteous, I believe what the Father says about me and that qualifies me to be who I am, to be righteous. So I'm not going to save myself in order for you to believe who I am. And I am not going to prove to you who I am. No, I know who I am. In fact, that was the reason that even on the cross, right before the crucifixion, the last supper, it says Jesus knew who He was, where He had come from and where He was going, and yet He got up, removed His garment and He put a towel around Himself and then He began to wash the disciple's feet.
He knew everything, He didn’t need to prove anything, but all that He was doing was because He was manifesting the Word of God. He was revealing the Word of God, showing what was in the beginning, and showing the heart of the Father to mankind.
So now why is that important?
Because humanity has come to believe a wrong thing about the relationship of God and mankind.
Man believes that God has forsaken him.
Man believes that he has to “do” to prove who he "is".
And when does, he becomes proud, which means he doesn't believe what God says about him. It has all become about man must “do” and to come to God.
The Language of Adams
Now in this case right after they said "save Yourself", they continued, “if You are the Son of God”. You see the language? It is the language of temptation. It's what came in wilderness to Jesus, “if You are the Son of God”. Who is here speaking from the mouth of these people? It's the same serpent. The same tempter, the same accuser. They say:
If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross. And likewise, the chief priest also mocking with the scribes and elders and said He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He's the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross and we will believe Him. He trusted in God...
Do you see? They have observed this for three and a half years, that He trusted in God, that He believed God is His Father, and whatever He says shall be done. They take that as an accusation in the moment, to get Him to do something to prove it:
If He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him.
What they're saying is that if He's not delivered from this situation, that's a sign that God has forsaken Him. Do you see this forsaken mentality is Pharisee’s doctrine, not Jesus's.
It is them who now are saying, He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him. They continue:
...let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’
They're saying, if He says "I am the son of God", that means God is His Father and He was trusting in Him, and if He really trusted in Him, and God has not forsaken Him, then let Him save Himself and show it.
Right now we're going to see where this language comes from. It is in the book of Psalm and shortly we are going to read it. But before that let's continue in Matthew 27:
Even the robbers who were crucified with him reviled Him with the same thing. Now, from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the land and about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani, that is My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?
This last part is today's subject. God forsaking Jesus, is at the very end of a series of events which we read together, which is all the mocking, reproaching, accusations and temptations.
During all that was happening in those events, we see the mindset of mankind, not Jesus. Everything that we read, it says, they blasphemed Him, they wagged their heads against Him.
They said, save Yourself, if you are the Son of God, if He is the King, if He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him.
That is THEIR language.
They are saying these things.
This is very important because if you don't focus on this part, you're not going to understand the rest, which means you're not going to understand the meaning.
So I want us to see this is their language, the language of mankind.
This is man's logic.
This is not God's.
This is not Jesus's.
When Jesus comes and says, My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me, He kind of tells them, okay, let me take you back to where it was prophesied about you, Me and the present events.
That you would come to this place that you would say if He trusted in God, let Him save Himself.
Why Have You Forsaken me, A Prophecy from Psalm 22
Now He's quoting scripture. He's quoting Psalm chapter 22, but He's not quoting the end of Psalm chapter 22. He's quoting Psalm 22 verse 1, which starts by My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?
Rose: Well, this is the end of the events. From six hour to ninth hour, which is from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, and at 3:00 PM He died. So this is at the “end” of the crucifixion, but He's quoting something in the “beginning” of Psalm.
Masoud: Exactly. Because He's directing their attention to what was prophesied.
Let me put it this way:
If I say, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, what am I trying to say? I'm trying to say, go back to Genesis and read from the beginning once again.
When Jesus says, My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me, what is He trying to say? He is trying to say, go back to Psalm 22 and read it once again to see what the story is.
So now what we have taken this verse and we have turned it into this wrong-doctrine that God forsook Jesus for a moment, so we can forever be reconciled to Him.
Why would God need to forsake the One He says He loves to prove He'll never forsake us? Why would God do this? That's not logical, even in carnal mind.
We think God wanted to punish us, and because He is merciful, He put that on His Son so we can be free.
That's how this doctrine is formed, which I have to say is the doctrine of demons.
God didn't need to punish Jesus to forgive us.
The Bible says in Romans chapter 3, that because He had passed over our sins, He came and He died.
He didn't come so that our sins could be forgiven.
He came because our sins WERE forgiven.
But there was nobody to declare that, there was nobody to tell the truth, to show that.
He Restores to Man His Righteousness.
In Job 33 when Job is constantly complaining, grumbling about everything that is happening, while he puts everything on God saying, it was God who gave it and it is God who has taken it, somebody comes along, a young man and says, all that you have spoken is without knowledge and without wisdom because all you needed to know is your righteousness.
You have to see how God sees you.
Because if you see how God sees you, you're not going to be speaking this way. Instead, you'll stand in the place that God has given you. You're going to be where He says you are, and that would set you free.
That's why he says:
“If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
24 Then He is gracious to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found a ransom’;
25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
He shall return to the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
So what are we saying here? Mankind needs someone to come and say, “you are accepted”.
You don't need to "do” to "become".
God never changed His mind about you being His son.
God has never forgotten the role of His fatherhood towards you.
It's you who forgot what kind of Father you had. It's you who said, give me my inheritance, let me go, as if my Father is dead. But one day that man, the prodigal son realized that, well, I have a Father, but still his mindset was “I'm a slave”. And when he came to the Father, what did the Father do? He told him, you're not a slave, you're My son. That's why He put His robe, His ring, everything on him trying to say, I've never changed My mind about you. You're not going to be a servant in My house, but My son in the house.
Let's observe the scene again: Jesus is in the midst of a numerous number of Adams around Him, all having the same mindset, and He Himself in the midst, being accused by them.
The hardness of the heart of Adam is showing itself, and what are they saying? They're projecting their belief on Him. They say, we don't believe that God has not forsaken us. God has forsaken us, and He has forsaken You too, what is so important about You that you've constantly calling Him, 'My Father'? If He's Your Father, let Him save You.
Now let's go to Psalm 22:1
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me? And from the words of My groaning.
This is what Jesus said on the cross. Let's read what He continues to say in verse 3:
But You are Holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You, they trusted and You delivered them. They cried to You and were delivered. They trusted in You and we're not ashamed.
Now let's find scribes and Pharisees in Psalm 22. Look at verse 8 to see how their language is different than Jesus:
He trusted in the Lord. Let Him rescue Him.
Exactly what we read. in Matthew 27.
The Pharisees and the scribes, the religious people, the Adamic nature, the carnal mind was tempting Jesus, by saying "He trusted in the Lord. Let Him save Him".
Now when they had said this, Jesus said, let's go to Psalm 22 and read to see who believes God forsakes, Me or you? The language of Jesus is clearly trust in the Lord and His Fatherhood, not leaving Him, not forsaking Him. Look at verse 9, this is Jesus!
But you are He who took me out of the womb. You made Me trust while on My mother's breast. I was cast upon You from birth, from My mother's womb, You have been My God.
Do you see what Jesus believes and what the religious Adam believed? Do you see the contradiction?
Do you see that Jesus believes from His mother's breasts, He has trusted in God and He has believed that way forever.
But on the other hand, religious people, all that they believed, was manifesting itself on their tongue, that language of temptation, because they don't believe that you can trust God, because God has forever forsaken mankind.
So how can you trust God?
Now, if you read the rest of Psalm 22, it's the story of crucifixion. Everything that happened to Him. Let's look at a couple of verses. Look at verse 13 he says:
They gape at Me with their mouth, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water and all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. It has melted within Me.
All these were happening while He was on the cross, surrounded by Adams.
I will Declare Your name to My Brethren
Now look at verse 21:
Save Me from the lion's mouth, and from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered Me, I will declare Your name to My brethren in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
Let's see what He means by “I will declare Your name to My brethren”. First of all, Your name meaning the name of the Father to My brethren. Meaning He's trying to say, Hey, I told you I'm His Son and now let me tell you what happened. Let me tell you what this Father did to Me so you can put your trust also in Him, and not to be an orphan anymore. Verse 23:
You who fear the Lord, praise Him. All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him and fear Him all you offspring of Israel, for He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, nor has He hidden His face from him.
But that's what we believed, isn't it? We believed that God turned His face against Jesus. That He forsook Him.
But Jesus says, I will declare Your name to My brethren. I will tell them, You never turned Your face against Me.
They believe You have forsaken Me. Now I have to go and correct them. Now I have to tell them, Hey, I can't represent and declare and show a Father who forsook Me but promise you He'll never forsake you. That’s not logical. Nobody's going to believe God won't forsake them if they see God forsakes Me.
What is He trying to say?
He's trying to make it loud and clear, "He has NOT forsaken Me".
He hasn't hidden His face from Me. But:
...But when He cried to Him, He heard. My praise shall be of You in the great assembly. I will pay My vows before those who fear You. The poor shall eat and be satisfied, those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever.
The Language of the Father
So let's go to Hebrews chapter 2 just to understand this language of the Father, the Son and the brethren of that one Son. Because all that Jesus came, as a Son, to show to the rest of the children was that, what kind of Father they have, but they believed that He has forsaken them. Before that, let's look at chapter 13 verse 5. He says:
Let your conduct be without covetousness. Be content with such things as you have for He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?
This is the end of Hebrews. Let's see how it begins. Chapter 2 verse 10-13:
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect, through suffering. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One for which reason He's not ashamed to call them brethren saying, I will declare Your name to My brethren in the midst of the assembly, I will sing praise to You, and again "I will put my trust in Him".
Do you see that He is showing to the brethren, a Father who is trustworthy? Because He has come to declare His name.
What does it mean to declare His name? To show everything about the Father to the rest of the children, that He's compassionate, that He's merciful, that He's good, that He's full of mercy, that He's loving, He's kind, He's gentle, He's all those things to them.
But because they are constantly covering themselves, they're separating themselves from Him and they're projecting what they believe about God, to be what God actually is, which is not true. So He says,
I will put my trust in Him. And again, here am I and the children whom God has given Me.
Let me put it this way, in a short version:
I believe the centuries-old doctrine of the majority of the churches, about how God deals with mankind, must be revisited.
The belief system that God was in need of someone to take our punishment so that we wouldn’t be punished must be changed. That because God is just, and He must punish the sinners but He chose to punish His Son is not what the Bible teaches. As if the justice of God is to punish mankind for what he does. That by itself is an unrighteous belief system, because if we believe thus, then in order for God to be able to justify mankind, He has to bring punishment. That's not true!
For God to be able to justify mankind, He has to show that He Himself is just and righteous, this is what Romans 2 and 3 reveal. So mankind instead of running away from God, can run to God. That's the kind of God that Jesus came to show.
He came to show that this is the God that you can trust and you can come to, you can rely upon.
This is the God that never left you, but you left Him. You are the one that in the hardness of your heart, you thought, you are naked, ashamed and you have to do something to be received by this God.
But He has always been saying, don't cover yourself up, I'm the One who is going to cover you. I'm the one who is going to feed you.
I am your Father. That's My role. That's My responsibility. That's who I am to you”.
But when you come to believe that your identity comes from what you “do”, then you begin to see your weakness and in your weakness, all of a sudden you lose sight of who your Father is and you begin to eat with pigs, which we see in Luke chapter 15, until a day comes that you realize, "I have a Father and He has been good even to His servants". And you come to Him just to serve Him and He says, that's not the kind of person that I need. I need a son.
I don't need a servant, and I want a son because if you are My son, then you will do what I do.
You don't do what you can do.
You do what I can do through you.
That's a different story.
Father, into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit
This is the old story of grace. This is the story of two different natures, two types of mankind. One is Adam and one is Christ. Adam believed he's forsaken. Christ came to say, Hey, that Adam that believes he is forsaken, is the one that is looking at me on the cross and saying that He has even forsaken Me too, yet let me show you what I believe about God (Luke 23:46):
...Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.
How could He commits His Spirit or give His Spirit to God if He believed He had forsaken Him? What does forsaken even mean? If He believed that God is in Him, that He's one with Him, then How can He be separated from Him? Did He leave Him all of a sudden? Let's just think about this.
Well, I think I want to end by this, that there is a really, really, really good movie, I recommend that you would watch. It's called “The Shack”. Maybe some of you have watched it. Rose and I have watched it, seven or eight times because it's theologically the most sound movie we've ever watched with respect to how God deals with mankind.
There is a scene where Mackenzie Allen Phillips, another Adam, believes that because his daughter was kidnapped and then murdered, God has forsaken him.
And when he came to have an encounter with God, and when the Father began to speak concerning Jesus, this guy says:
yes, I know that you have that reputation that you forsake the ones that you love.
And that's when the Father lifts up His hand and shows Mackenzie how he's mistaken. The Father showed him the holes in His hands. The one that experienced cross, have nails punched through His hands is none other than the Father Himself.
As the Father says in the movie, pain has a way of doing that to us...making us blind to the truth. That kind of mindset must be replaced by a mindset that believes that “I am accepted”, “I am received”, “I am what I am, by the grace of God". That I'm not what “I do”. I am what “God says I am”. When that happens, everything changes.
So did God forsake Jesus? Never.
But did people believe that God had forsaken Jesus? Yes.
Does Christianity believe that God forsook Jesus for a moment? I would say majority do. But is it true? No, it's not.
And we have to let the truth about this penetrate in our hearts, otherwise when we face trials, we would believe the same thing, and we would try to overcome it alone.
The fact that Jesus cried out on the cross "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" doesn't mean God forsook Him, neither it means that Jesus believed He was forsaken. While reading the Bible, we must be cautious how we read it. If we just read what's written without listening to what the Holy Spirit reveals, we become the story-tellers who never live the story.
But what's the truth about this saying of Jesus? To find the answer, we need to realize Jesus wasn't confessing what He was feeling, but He was quoting Psalm 22:1. He took everyone's attention to what was prophesied. It was written that He would be surrounded by all those who had become like Adam of old, seeing God as the One who forsook them, and therefore project their belief on Him as though it was true about Him too. Yet the very next verses of Psalm 22 reveal what Jesus believed while on the cross.
The centuries-old doctrine of the majority of the churches, about how God deals with mankind, must be revisited. The belief system that God was in need of someone to take our punishment so that we wouldn’t be punished must be changed.
That because God is just, and He must punish the sinners but He chose to punish His Son is not what the Bible teaches. As if the justice of God is to punish mankind for what he does.
So when Jesus was on the cross, He was representing man and God at the same time. So when He cried out and He said "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me", He was crying out the belief and the sorrow of Adam.
Adam always thought that God had forsaken him. But right after that, when He died on the cross, He buried that belief, so that mankind would never, ever think that God has ever forsaken anyone.