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Please explain Mark 15:34?

Submitted: 3/6/2005
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Question: Why did Jesus say, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?'

Answer: Just before He died on the cross, Jesus cried out, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” What was happening here? Was the first person of the trinity forsaking the second person in the midst of His greatest trial? No! This passage cannot be describing an actual separation between the Father and the Son, because the Son IS the Father manifested in the flesh. Jesus Himself said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 5:19 says that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” It never states that God left Christ on the cross.

What then does the cry of Jesus mean? It does not mean that the Spirit of God departed from Christ’s body, only that it provided no help to the body. In other words, the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh does not mean that His flesh didn’t feel the pain of the nails just as our flesh would. There was no lessening of the physical pain by the Spirit.

Hebrews 9:14 says that Christ offered Himself to God “through the eternal Spirit.” If the Spirit had left Him on the cross, He would have ceased to be the Christ—the Anointed One. The Spirit was with Christ throughout the ordeal. Jesus was not abandoned by God, but He did experience how it feels to be God-forsaken. Remember, He was bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. He felt what it feels like to be a sinner. He felt the fiery pain of the nails. He felt the humiliating sting of the insults. He felt the awful horror of divine judgment.

In addition, Jesus was pointing the people to Psalms 22, a riveting first-person account of the agony of the crucifixion, which begins, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” It goes on to say, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me” (Psalms 22:1, 14-17).

When did the Spirit actually depart from the body? Matthew 27:50 says, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.” The Spirit departed when Jesus died.