Question: Shortly before Jesus died on the cross, He prayed, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27: 46) (Mark 15: 34). Had God really forsaken Jesus?
Answer: From the time that Jesus had become spirit begotten at His baptism at thirty years of age, He was both a New Creature and a human being. Jesus as a New Creature was never forsaken by the Heavenly Father, though near the very end of His earthly life, while He was on the cross at Calvary, God did forsake Jesus’ humanity. This supreme agony of His humanity, as expressed in the above passages, was experienced in one of His last moments on the cross, when He recognized that as a human being He had been forsaken by God. His cry of anguish was uttered, not by His New Creature, but by His humanity (Psalm 22: 1-18).
“The man Christ Jesus,” to be Adam’s ransom or corresponding price, had to suffer all the same kinds of things that Adam suffered for his sin. One of the things that Adam had to suffer was the feeling of abandonment by God. Therefore, Jesus’ humanity as Adam’s substitute, had to suffer this same kind of feeling that Adam suffered. Jesus’ humanity had not experienced this form of His cup of woe until this time, for up to shortly before His death, His humanity, hoping for deliverance (Psalm 22), felt that God was with Him as a man. But at “about the ninth hour” (which ended at 3:00 p.m.), feeling Himself dying, and almost dead as a human being, He recognized that He was not going to receive human life for Himself as a reward for keeping the natural law and the Mosaic law. He therefore concluded that, as a human being, He was evidently abandoned by God, which was also true. This filled His human soul, which had always before basked in the sunlight of His Father’s favor, with the deepest woe that a perfect, sinless human being could feel. His brain, having almost no more life-principle to operate its thinking processes normally, could not understand why God would forsake Him. But as often occurs with those who are dying, His little remaining vitality soon returned to His brain, and He recovered from His deep agony.