The fifth of seven of Jesus’ last words while on the Cross.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, ESV).

Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1, at this moment the communion that Jesus shared with God the Father throughout eternity was broken.  God the Father metaphorically turns His back on his Son.  Why?  Because God is holy.  Scripture says that when Jesus was on the cross for our sake, “he made him who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV).

At that moment our sin was placed upon Jesus who was without sin.  Isaiah prophesied this moment when he wrote, “All like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (Isaiah 53:6, ESV).

Mark Driscoll in Death by Love: Letters from the Cross wrote:

The great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther rightly declares that at the moment Jesus became the most grotesque, ugly, and hideous thing in the history of all creation.  In what Luther calls “the great exchange,” the sinless Jesus so thoroughly took our place that he became the worst of what we are – rapists, thieves, perverts, addicts, liars, gluttons, gossips, murderers, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, and idolaters.  Importantly, Jesus’ work on the cross was not just a bookkeeping transaction in the divine economy.  Jesus actually took to himself our sin with all its horror and shame, (Hebrews 12:2-3).

3 comments
  1. interesting. I have heard other interpretations such as that Jesus was angry because he wasn't getting sex. I didn't think that made a lot of sense and I am glad to hear another version. I still think that sounds a bit harsh to address literally; I question divine physical ugliness.

  2. Well it may seem harsh, but in light of God's holiness it isn't. Also this is an act of love, in that God provided the solution to the problem of man's sin once and for all.

  3. I think at this point Jesus was the loneliest anyone has ever been, experiencing the separation those who do not trust Jesus as Savior will experience for eternity.

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