What Did Jesus Mean When He Said "Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) Matthew 27:46
Written before chapter and verse annotations, written well before capital punishment by crucifixion, Psalm 22 prophesied many elements of the Messiah's suffering. By calling out the first line, as any rabbi of His day would to identify a passage, Jesus seems to be underlining Psalm 22 in the minds of His disciples, saying, this is being fulfilled before your eyes.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Many theologians say this moment is the point where Jesus felt the "turning away" of God the Father and Holy Spirit. In taking on the sin of the world, Jesus experienced separation from God, the loss of the perfect relationship the trinity had enjoyed for eternity.
In the cry we also see the amazing humanity of Jesus. Though He is completely God, the Son of God who put on flesh is completely human, as Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-8.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Thank you, God, for this radical gift of love, enduring the cross so that our relationship with You could be made new, so that we can have eternal life. I pray we'd never treat You or the crucifixion as ordinary. In Jesus' name, Amen.