by Anna Caison
4/15/2007 / Christian Living
Every year during Good Friday Services, the seven last sayings of Christ from the cross are always expounded on. And every year, whoever speaks on the forth saying, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" explains Jesus' statement as being in response to God turning His face from Him because a holy God can't look on sin.
As I sat in this year's Good Friday Service I heard something different as the speaker spoke on the forth saying of Christ.
Since Jesus is God manifested in humanity, I believe "my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me" was spoken for our benefit to let us know that God had met His own requirement for the payment of our sins when He hung and died on the cross. It isn't impossible for God to look on sin; He sees our sin everyday. From Adam and Eve's rebellion, to their son's act of murder and down through the ages God has looked on man's sins. This is why He came to offer Himself in our place to redeem us from our sins. It isn't that God can't look on sin; it is sin that separates us from relationship with God.
"My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" speaks of His internal agony on the cross as He bore not only our sins but the sins of the entire world; past, present and future. He became our filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). All of our perverseness, wickedness, rebellion and iniquity fell on him (Isaiah 53:5). He became dirty and unclean with our sins. So agonizing was this experience for a holy and sinless God that the weight of our sins was more torturous than the nails that pierced His hands and feet; more excruciating than the spear that pierced His side. I believe His divinity was in intense conflict with His humanity when He became sin for us. That's why He utters those words.
In grasping this truth, I begin to search myself, looking for signs that I too shared in Christ's suffering to rid my life of sin. For the proof that we are partakers of His divine nature is seen in our own internal conflict between the indwelling spirit of God and our old sinful nature. There should be in each of us a groaning and painful longing for our bodies to be translated from its present condition (Romans 8:21-23).
II Corinthians 13:5 instructs us to examine (scrutinize) ourselves to make sure that Christ is being formed in us. I want to know (by experience) that the resurrection power of Christ is at work in me (Philippians 3:10).
Anna M. Caison, third (eldest daughter) of eleven children, born in Chicago, Illinois. She is an ordain minister, Preschool Teacher and freelance writer for adults and children.
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