“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me.”
The first three statements of Jesus took place between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Matthew tells us from the 6th hour (12:00 noon) until about the 9th hour (3:00 p.m.) there was darkness over all the land. How are we to understand what Jesus vocalized here?
- Some say He is quoting from the first verse of Psalm 22
- Others say Jesus “felt” forsaken even though He knew in reality he was not.
- Still others say that as He tasted death, it repulsed Him.
The battle that is being wagged is intense as Jesus hangs on the cross. Sins are being poured out on Him who knew no sin. It was this portion of the cross Jesus desired to avoid. We are reminded very vividly of the anguish Jesus experienced in His own spirit just hours before in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It was not the thought of the crown of thorns that bothered Him, though they were sharp and prickly. It was not the nails in the hands and in the feet, as painful as they would have been. It was not even the scourging with the cat of nine tails, the plucking of the beard, being slapped and spit upon. It was Jesus, who knew no sin becoming sin for you and for me.
Throughout His life Jesus has never sinned; not even one time. And now, as our perfect sacrifice, every sin is being poured out on Him. Those sins were your sins and my sins and the sins of the whole world. At that moment, He who knew no sin became sin. Read those last few words one more time. It is impossible for us to comprehend the vile He experienced.
As we close this saying, there are three important truths to remember:
- Jesus did not renounce God
- Jesus did not surrender His faith in God
- Jesus expressed His anguish of becoming sin in a cry of affirmation as He paid the sin debt for all of mankind.