Was Jesus really forsaken?

Did God look away from His Son?

If God did turn from His Son how can we know He will not forsake us?


The accounts found in Matthew 27 and Mark 15 seem to indicate that Jesus uttered this cry when God forsook Him as He took the full weight of the sin of mankind - when He became God's sin-bearer. This understanding comes from the concept that God cannot look upon sin so therefore, He could not look upon His own Son.

What happened? We must define God in constants of His nature. We cannot tell people God will not forsake them but yet preach that God turned away from Jesus on the cross -- a time when Jesus needed Him most. As the weight of sin pressed in on the Christ of God He felt the sense of abandonment in the same way we feel when the oppression of sin hits us. We feel God has distanced Himself from us and this is what Jesus experienced on the cross -- the isolation, the loneliness, and abandonment caused by the consciousness of sin.

Traditionally, we are pointed to Psalm 22 which is the Messianic Psalm of the Christ on the cross. Verse one states "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"? But if we read on down we find the answer in verse 24 which says "For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard". The awareness of sin causes a dullness of our awareness of God and His closeness.

Jesus, touched by afflictions just like us experienced the feeling of separation but was still connected by love. He felt the consequences of our sin yet did not sin -- the sympathetic High Priest.

What about God cannot look at sin part? Where does it say that? Are we so naive to think that sin can separate us from God. God did not abandon Adam and Eve but went looking for them. Sin is not so powerful as to weaken the holiness of God -- on the contrary, the holiness of God envelopes our sin and brings it to nothing even canceling the penalty. The idea of God not able to look upon sin is found in Habakkuk 1:13 in which Habakkuk says the eyes of God are to pure to look on evil. He acknowledges that even though His eyes are pure He still sees the evil. Adam, Habakkuk, and Jesus each thought God turned away as sin was present but it was an unfounded perception based on seeing God through the eyes of sin consciousness rather than the awareness of righteousness.

By God's nature, He could not turn away from His Son especially at the time for which God prepared Him. There are many Scriptures that point out that Jesus was not alone during this period (John 16:32, 2 Cor 5:19, John 8:28-29). God did not forsake Jesus nor will He ever forsake us. He is God and nothing is to hard for Him.