Name: Greyson Gambrell
Brief 8 A
Was Jesus Really Forsaken When He Died on the Cross
The idea that Jesus quoted Psalm 22, and its good points are applicable and that Jesus was not really feeling forsaken is a false notion. Jesus had the noblest character and was not just fearing death on the cross, rather more importantly He was facing the coming state of having the sins of the world placed on Him (1 Pet 2:24). To think that Jesus would utter something that He did not mean makes Him untrue and a liar, therefore the feeling and state of being forsaken is not just a quote of the Psalm but a true sentiment and fact. It pleased the Lord to crush Him and put Him to grief, and give Him anguish of His soul (Isa 53:10-11). The notion that God could not suffer goes back to Philo and other Classical philosophy. Obviously though, Jesus and God are recorded to have compassion as well as sorrow. For example Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus (Jn 11:35).
First the anguish Jesus felt at the cross is evident and the quote from Psalm 22 clearly shows many of Christ’s anguish why He would feel forsaken just for what He was going through on the cross. Taunts from men and bones out of joint are just some of His sufferings. But there was more than the cross for Jesus to feel forsaken.
To think that Jesus was only afraid of the cross is demeaning to what He really faced. The Apostle’s Creed states that Jesus descended into Hell. The basis of this is on two verses. First, in Psalm 16:10 David prophesies of Jesus that “… you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. This could be translated as grave for Sheol, but it is echoed in Acts as Hades (see Acts 2:27). This is the same Hades described by an unquenchable flame as in the story of Lazarus the beggar (see Luke 16:23-24). This is not allegorical about the torture of those not saved; it describes the real punishment of those that go to Hades. Second, in Ephesians 4:9, Paul describes where Christ went after death to the lower parts of earth. It translates lower regions of earth because earth is in the genitive case. So even though the Gospel is not that Jesus paid for our sins by punishment in Hell, rather that Jesus delivered over for our trespasses and was raised for our justification (Rom 4:25), the scripture is clear he was in a place described of torture. Jesus was not just faced with death on a cross, which is enough anguish in itself, but He was facing our sins placed on Him and the placement of His soul in Hell. This was the cup that Christ was reluctant to drink (Luk 22:42). Think, many people face death boldly, Jesus was stronger than all men, He was facing more than death as he wept tears of blood.
The suffering of the cross alone is reason for feeling forsaken. The fact that our sins were place on Him is definitely more reason, especially, as Jesus was in communion and closeness to the Father that the separation due to the fact He bore our sins as a guilt offering had to be great pain. Finally the future of being placed in Hell added more anguish and abandonment. To think that Christ was not sensing what He spoke is erroneous and makes Christ look false. He however was the truth. He did not stay in Hades, but the third day was resurrected. He ascended then to the Father, after three days. Just as Christ descended, and Christ was forsaken and then He was glorified, Psalm 22 turns to a note of praise. In the proper order of time Jesus, like the sign of Jonah, was in the midst of the earth and then rose again. Jesus was forsaken but not forever but three days. It is by this guilt sacrifice that we will not be forsaken by God the Father.