The English word “forsaken” as defined in the Webster dictionary means:To abandon, desert, leave, maroon, quit, strand.
These synonyms have connotations that may not reflect the context of the writer. So, to know what the writer really meant, one has to look at the original word from which it was translated to English.
In Mark 15:34,”…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
The word “forsaken” was from the Hebrew word: “ἐγκαταλείπω/enkataleípō”
from (1722) and (2641)
from and ; to leave behind in some place, i.e. (in a good sense) let remain over, or (in a bad sense) to desert:–forsake, leave.
From the preceding, it does not appear to make any difference whether one accepts the “good or bad sense” connotation as both meant “to leave”. Since God is “good“, the reason had to be for good, From the story of crucifixion, Jesus was indeed “left” to die.
Towards the end of his life, he had to utter those words which must be very important. What was the message he wanted to convey as to why the Father “left” him? That message had to be the essence of why he expressed those words before he died.
From what we know now, it appears to be related to the reason why he had to die. And in a nutshell, one can conclude it to be;
1. For remission of sin. Since Adam sinned and therefore the sin of the mankind was counted to that sin at the garden of Eden, the consequence of death from that sin has to be fulfilled. And, there is no one who could fulfill that punishment except Jesus. A perfect Passover Lamb, the incarnated Creator-God/Logos/Word had to die. This was why YHVH Elohim, a spirit-composed body that is immortal, had to incarnate to man-Jesus, a mortal-body, for him to die. The only reason for his death is substitutionary for our “eternal death”.(irreversible).
2. For mankind to be saved. We are not saved by his death. Rather, according to Paul, we are “saved by his life” Notice, though, that while the immediate effect of Jesus’ death “reconciles” us back to God (2 Cor. 5:15-21; Col. 1:19-20; Heb. 9:19-22), we still need to “be saved by his life“(Rom. 5:10), i.e., Jesus has to be resurrected to life and “go away” to claim the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father in heaven to be sent to us (John 16:7), for a purpose that leads to future actual salvation.
Without the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us, we will not be able to express the “fruits of the spirit” summarized as love of God and love for “neighbors“. The Holy Spirit was given to us because of the “faith of Jesus” in the Father to fulfill this promise. This is the “righteousness of God”, based and initiated by faith. With this “love” that no one can provide but God by grace, a gift, we will then be “one” with Jesus and God the Father. “He who overcomes will be given eternal life”(Rev. 2:7).
In summary, the Father “left/forsook” Jesus to die for very good reasons.
God Bless 👍😇🙏
Original Post: August 27, 2015
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Thank you for this interesting article, Al. I have just completed the Stations of the Cross online. It always breaks my heart to see the suffering Jesus endured for us.
Thanks for your kind comments