My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Why God Abandoned His Only Begotten Son

Matthew 27:46


I.         Introduction


A.      Here are some of the strongest words spoken on the cross

B.       The most shocking words – spoken in the absolute darkness of those 3 hours

C.       My God – My GOD!

D.      WHY? Why hast thou FORSAKEN me?!


II.       Message


A.      The God Man – the most incredible being


1.        The God Part


a.       Holy, perfect, righteous, eternal

b.       A Spirit (Jn 4:24)

c.       Bigger than the universe he created

d.       Creator, and sustainer of all things


2.        The Man Part


a.       Holy, perfect, righteous, had a beginning, will die

b.       A Body

c.       Limited to time and space


3.        A perfect union of God and Man (Jn 1:14)

4.        As a Man, Jesus was totally committed to doing the will of God (Jn 18:11)


B.       The Wrath of Man – the crucifixion itself


1.        Against the Plan of God

2.        The Religious really don’t need God – they can make things up on the fly so to speak

3.        Their wrath was vented against love, righteousness, perfection, and holiness

4.        They devised tortures, and then applied them to the Best Man who has ever lived – from birth with Herod

5.        All because of:


a.       Self righteousness – no need for God

b.       Envy (Mt 27:18; Act 7:9; 13:45; 17:5)


C.       The Wrath of God – the three hours of darkness (Isa 53:4,5,10; Lam 1:12)


1.        Christ was on the cross by design

2.        Jesus became a magnet for the wrath of God – so that we would be “passed over!”

3.        The crucifixion was only man’s wrath – the 3 hours of darkness covered God’s wrath against sin!

4.        Jesus became the “sin bearer” – punishment bearer


a.       At the same time as Jesus was in the 3 hours of darkness, the lamb was being slain in the Temple

b.       Propitiation – Atonement – absolute forgiveness


5.        Without Jesus, the wrath of God will fall on YOU (Jn 3:16, 36; Rev 14:9-11; 21:8)

6.        The wrath of God is against ALL SIN – not just mortal sins

7.        There is humanly no way to pay off all our sins – if it were possible, Adam and Eve would not have been kicked out of the Garden, and two lambs would have been spared!

8.        Not even an infinite number of lambs, or personal sacrifices could repay what we owe God (Heb 10:11; Isa 1:11).


D.      The Abandonment of Jesus the Man.


1.        Isa 53:6

2.        Psalm 22


a.       God must forsake His Son (Psalm22:1,2) - This stuff is complicated to try and understand


1)       Sins must be paid for - not just forgiven (Eph 1:7)

2)       Sins cost death - death of lambs - death of THE Lamb

3)       The death of the Messiah


a)       Not of God - God is life - He cannot die

b)       But the MAN Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5) as the Lamb

c)       Prophesied throughout Scripture (Dan 9:25,26; Isa 53:6)


4)         The meaning of the word "forsake" is very clear: to desert, abandon, leave completely, withdraw from, disconnect. To forsake does not mean to just turn our back on things, but cut the ties. Christians are supposed to "forsake" our past life at salvation (Ezek 20:8), and every "lord" of our life, so that Jesus can be Lord of all (Lk 14:33), and forsake every sin we confess (Pr 28:13). Unfortunately Christians even forsake each other (2Tim 4:16), and church (Heb 10:25).


a)       God would no longer hear His prayer

b)       Nor answer His needs

c)       He became totally alone

d)       NOTE: What Jesus was going through is what it is like in hell as is demonstrated by His words, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).


5)       That is just what God did with His Son (Mt 27:46) abandoned Him


a)       God, who had been IN Christ (2Cor 5:19), now left

b)       The Man Jesus receives the punishment for all sins of all time

c)       It began in the Garden of Gethsemane

d)       It built through all the mock trials and beatings and spittings

e)       It culminated on the cross - he became a curse (Gal 3:13)

f)        Ended in death


6)       According to John 3:14,15, Jesus is like the brass serpent on the pole, with Jesus taking the place of the serpent - God therefore became Man to be judged as the devil (the serpent). It is very hard to believe that the God-part of Christ was judged, or became as the serpent. Jesus according to 2 Cor 5:21 actually became all sin, not "sins", and then was judged by the Father not with just death, but with God's full and total wrath upon the Man-part, for all men as stated in 1 Tim 2:5. As a matter of fact, according to Psalm 22:6, Jesus says through David that He is transformed from Man to that of a Worm in the judgement of God on the cross!


b.       God is Holy, and Right in What he Does (Psalm 22:3-5)


1)       It was the only way for God to be holy, and yet justify the ungodly (Cf Isa 6:3; Isa 53:11)

2)       When someone goes to hell, it is because they truly deserve it (Gen 18:15), and God has done all He could to turn them (Pr 1:22-33)

3)       NOTE: All the people at the base of the cross thought that if God can and does deliver good men, Christ must not be good, for He was NOT delivered (Mt 27:42). This was the mistake that Job's friends made in their belief - thought Job was deep-down a wicked vile sinner - which he was, but that wasn't why he was going through the troubles!


c.       Why Jesus Cannot Come Down from the Cross (Psalm 22:6-18; Cf Mt 27:39-44)


1)       He has become a "Worm," that Sinners may Become Sons - what a switch! He goes down into the muck, so to raise us up (Ps 40:2)


a)       The worm is referring to us as sinners - red maggots, snakes

b)       See John 3:14; Mark 9:44; Mt 16:26

c)       See Job's estimation of himself (Job 40:4; Isa 64:6; Philp 3:8,21)

d)       Christ's soul is the offering (Isa 53:10,12)

e)       The Lamb, in the sacrifice, takes the place of the worm, and BECOMES the worm, so that we could become God's sheep (John 10). It's God's way of comparing Himself to us as we would to an ant. See also Isa 41:14

f)        This is the cup that Jesus had to drink (Mt 26:42) - stay on the cross alone

g)       Someday you will go through all this if you reject what Jesus went through because there is certainly no other way (Jn 14:6)!


2)       He is bearing (carrying) our reproach, and its shame (is despised) - by men at first, and then ultimately by God - He is ridiculed!!!

3)       He is taking OUR scorn - being attacked, punished. The people will say:


a)       "He trusted in God and look what it got Him" - said the same thing about Job

b)       "He delighted in God, and yet is forsaken - something is wrong with the Man!" NO! The problem is WE ARE BLIND TO GOD TAKING OUR PLACE! The Love of God did this (Isa 9:6,7)


4)       Throughout all this He was (Psalm 22:9-11)


a)       Dependant upon the Lord - from conception as the Man

b)       The Man Jesus was the Son from the womb


5)       He alone was reaping ALL the judgment of God (Psalm 22:12-18; Heb 10:26) - complete picture of the crucifixion


a)       No one to help

b)       Surrounded by bulls - that is how the Lord describes His enemies - very fierce and dangerous creatures, as are scorpions (Ez 2:6), vipers (Mt 23:33), lions (1Pet 5:8)

c)       Drained ("poured out")

d)       Beaten, but not a bone was broken (Cf Ps 34:20)

e)       Heart is melted like wax under fire - ached and unable to withstand ANY pressure - just crumbles like thin wax!

f)        No more strength

g)       Tongue cleaving to his mouth - unable to talk - that is the crucifixion

h)       Headed for the dust - death

i)         Hands pierced - plain cross reference (Jn 19:34,37)


(i)       New Jerusalem bible - tied my hands and feet

(ii)     Good News bible - they tear at my hands and my feet


j)         People gamble over my clothes - no care for the Man on the cross - fulfillment


d.       God Forsakes Jesus only for a Season (Psalm 22:19-21) - not permanent. It is permanent when dealing with us sinners, but not the perfect Son of God!


1)       Jesus knows what is ahead

2)       The soul that is the offering will be delivered - but not until after death

3)       The 'dog' is the Gentile nation doing the crucifixion - more prophecies

4)       Satan is trying to take advantage of God's judgment (the lion's mouth)

5)       The horns of the unicorns - one horned goat (Dan 8:5). Where are horses of fire (2 Kgs 2:11; 6:17)? There may be unicorns that have become extinct, and just haven't been found yet, or it is a heavenly creature - like the white horses we will ride from heaven on! Don't let anyone belittle the Word of God!


3.        See also Psalm 71:10,11

4.        Gal 3:13

5.        All this was clearly predicted in Gen 22:7-12

6.        Here was the Creator deserted by His own creation, by His family, by His disciples – and now by God Himself!

7.        Why? We will see the answer to this in a moment

8.        Note – in all this, Jesus did not come down off the cross!


E.       The Purpose in All This –The Why (2Cor 5:21; 1Pet 3:18; 2:24)


1.        Forsaken so that we would never be

2.        Separated from God so that we as sinners could draw near (remember the Temple veil being torn from the top down)

3.        Jesus the Man was judged by God so that there would be no condemnation left for us (Rom 8:1)

4.        All of this was so that God’s righteousness and justice and holiness could be once and for all time satisfied (Isa 53:11,12)


F.       What a Great Testimony of a Life (Mt 27:42,43)


1.        He saved others

2.        He trusted in God


III.     Conclusion


A.      Without Jesus taking your and my place in death, the wrath of God will fall on all of us, and on all the world – no exceptions!

B.       There is humanly no way to pay off all our sins – if it were possible, Adam and Eve would not have been kicked out of the Garden, and two lambs would have been spared!

C.       Not even an infinite number of lambs, or personal sacrifices could repay what we owe God

D.      So, the Lord let’s us HEAR the words of Jesus the Man, as our substitute, our sin-bearer, our propitiation, as He is forsaken by God, and left to die

E.       Oh thank God for this once off event that fully satisfies the righteousness and holiness and justice of Almighty God

F.       Now you can go free, because the Son hath MADE you free!

G.       Live your life very different because of it!


Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church Blarney

29 Westcourt Heights

Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland