Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.
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About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
These words that Jesus cried out as he was hanging on the Cross have been a source of much confusion and debate among Christians through the years. Some teach that Jesus became sin, God cannot look on sin, and thus God forsook His Son. Others, citing the following verses, say that God did not forsake His Son when he needed Him the most:
“I and my Father are one.”
“You [disciples] will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”
2 Corinthians 5:19
“To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”
By His very nature, our heavenly Father could not turn away from His only begotten Son, especially at the moment for which God has been preparing him all of his life. Jesus Christ was the crux of history, the one on whose shoulders the salvation of mankind was riding, the one who trusted his Father step by step all the way to this defining moment of His-story. And then God forsook him? That just doesn’t make sense. More importantly, it is not what the Bible says.
Many Bible commentators and teachers have promoted the idea that Jesus became sin for us and therefore the holy God had to forsake him because God cannot stand sin. This idea comes from 2 Corinthians 5:21, which in the NIV reads, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” But an accompanying note indicates that another way to translate the phrase “be sin for us” is “be a sin offering.”
The NIV translators recognized that because of the semantic range of the Greek word for “sin,” hamartia, it can be used (by the figure of speech Metonymy) to mean “a sin offering.” Thus, they translate hamartia in Romans 8:3 as follows: “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.
Hebrews 10:5 and 6 are especially relevant: “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased’” (See also 6:8 and 13:11). These verses show that the Old Testament sin offerings, the best God could do for His people at that time, simply pointed to the coming of the only one who could sacrifice his own body as a once-and-for-all sin offering. [For further study read How can a man atone for the sins of mankind?]
Scripture is all about the great truth that by his genetic perfection (God’s choice via his virgin birth) and behavioral perfection (his choice to always obey God), Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the perfect offering (sacrifice) for all the sin (nature) and sins (behavior) of mankind. The righteousness Jesus “earned” paid the price for all men’s sins and made possible the “gift” of righteousness (Romans 5:17) to all who believe in his work on their behalf.
It is significant that the First Adam did sin—royally—and yet God did not forsake him. Cain sinned, and God did not forsake him either. The truth is that God has never forsaken His people because of their sin, so why would He do so with His own Son? There is no way (and no verse saying) that God forsook the Last Adam after he had walked a perfect walk all the way to the Cross.
There is another piece of evidence showing that God did not forsake Jesus in his final hours, and it has to do with the prophecy (see Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12; Ps. 34:20) quoted in the following verse, which comes right after the record of the Roman soldiers breaking the legs of the others crucified with Jesus, but not breaking his because he was already dead:
These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
Think about the beating and torture that Jesus endured. And think about the fact that spikes were pounded into his hands and feet, each of which contains many bones. How was it possible that not one bone was broken?
We assert that it was as if God drew a line in the sand and said, “No more than that!” That prophetic promise must have given Jesus assurance as he went through his horrible ordeal. He knew that his Father was right there with him, and God’s keeping that promise was a forerunner of His greater promise to raise Jesus from the dead. [For further study read The Last Week of Christ’s Life.]
If God forsook Jesus on the cross because he became sin, what will God do when you and I sin? He would have to turn His face away from our sin, and from us, but that is not how our Heavenly Father is, nor what He does.
Here’s a video based on the same teaching that might help explain this lesson a little more clearly:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Thanks for reading.