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“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”[1]

Jesus came knowing that He would have to fulfil all that was written in the Law and the Prophets, and this He did, as He declared, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”[2] The words of the Law and the Prophets are the words of God spoken by God either directly to Moses or in the case of the prophets, through those prophets as they declared, “This is what the Lord says, ‘…’ or, “Thus says the Lord.”

As the Son of God, it is therefore not a surprise that He should fulfil the Law and the Prophets and not destroy them, for God cannot destroy His word. Fulfilling them perfectly in a way that men had never been able to so that for those who put their faith in Him, the righteousness that comes by fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets would be credited to those who believe. In order to prove that the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets is so perfect, so complete, He commanded those who believe in Him to break the Law and have themselves cut off from God according to the Law and rely on nothing but faith in Him for their righteousness. It is no different to walking on water physically.

That which was written in the Psalms, which is from the mouth of God, gave no hint of the price He would have to pay in order to fulfil the Psalms. Indeed, none of the promises of God in the Psalms would point to the darkness He would have to face, for the words of a psalmist are the words of a sinful man, a son of Adam. Now on the cross, the process of His fulfilment of the words of man that had been uttered to God began, so that He would be truly the Son of Man as well as the Son of God, descending Him to the depths of fulfilling for the psalmist David’s cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”[3]

How often had those words been uttered by men who had sinned and wronged God, and how often had these men rebelled against God? The ancestors of David were notorious in this crime, complaining to God time and again in the desert that He had led them out of Egypt to die. Each time, God in His graciousness had turned up and delivered them from starvation, from thirst, from their enemies and from death. Each time in the weakness of men, God heard their cry, their accusatory cry and God had delivered them by His grace, for in truth, God had never forsaken men, but it was men who sinned and rebelled against God and so it was men who had forsaken God. Indeed, Psalm 22:1 made and makes all men and women to be liars.

Like Job, all men have felt unrighteously punished by God when sudden disasters befall them, disasters they feel that their piety should have earned them the right to be protected from, and like Job, they have sat and demanded an answer from God. Sinful men wanting to know why a righteous and holy God would even think of forsaking them, never realising that it is to the glory of God that God did not forsake sinful men, but sent His One and Only Son to save them when He made the promise to Satan, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”[4] Until Jesus, there had never been a man who did not deserve to be forsaken by God, for all have sinned.

Now through Jesus Christ, He who is without sin but was made a sin offering for us, God’s forsaking of Him upon the cross would permit man to attain a righteousness with God that cannot never by declared null or rejected by God. A standard of righteousness that, as it was, exceeded even that of God’s, for God had forsaken a Man of no sin, but who was made sin by His will. God had forsaken a Man who had obeyed every command given to Him, not just the one to Adam, or the ten to Moses or the six hundred and eight to Israel, but all of them, even the ones of loving your enemies and forgiving those who sinned against you and not turning away those who came to Him, as well as the one about leaving your mother and father for the sake of the Gospel.

When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,”[5] He fulfilled the commands of loving His enemies and of forgiving those who sinned against Him, and as such, the Father had to forgive Him even though He, Jesus, was now made sin. When He said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in Paradise,”[6] He put into practice not just the word of forgiveness, but the act of forgiveness, “Do good to those who hate you.”[7] For the thief who confessed Him had been heaping insults on Him as well, as it is written: In the same way the robbers who were crucified with Him also heaped insults on Him.[8] And when He said, “Dear woman, here is your son,”[9] He fulfilled the command to leave our father and mother for the sake of the Gospel. Notice, He did not call her “mother”, not once, not at Cana at the wedding, and not now. There was no pleading from His heart to His mother. Up to this point, Jesus was fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, including the New Covenant Laws and the words of the New Covenant Prophet, the words He Himself had uttered as the Father showed Him what to say. So the Son of God fulfilled the Law and the Prophets of Israel, showing Himself truly to be the Son of David, the true heir to the throne of David, and also the Law and the Prophet of the New Covenant, showing Himself indeed to be the Lamb of God, the Son of God with whom God is well pleased.

But now, from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, darkness came over all the land;[10] darkness so thick that it was as if the Light of God’s Face had been veiled. It was as if the words of Isaiah were being fulfilled before Him. And if One looks at the land, He will see darkness and distress; even the light will be darkened by the clouds.[11] And the promise of God would bear fruit: “I will give You the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that You may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons You by Name.”[12] And so Jesus waited… in silence… in darkness from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, for as He had said, “Night is coming when no one can work…”[13] So He too rested from His work on that cross in the hours of light from the third to the sixth hour, waited as the Lord had commanded, “Sit in silence, go into darkness…”[14] though His bent position on the cross was a very cruel exaggeration of a seated position. Nevertheless, He waited for deliverance until He could bear it no more… until the words of David that had been churning in His soul and heart burst forth from His mouth and He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Except now, these words are coming not from a sinful man that God had a right to forsake, but from the only sinless Man who had earned the right to be forgiven even of His state of being made sin (the sin offering), for He had forgiven His enemies. When those words came bursting forth from Him there at that instant, like the instant when God said, “Let there be light,” and there was, there existed a Man whose righteousness exceeded God’s. For this was a Man God had no right to forsake, not a man God had a right to forsake because He had disobeyed God, no, but a Man who had fulfilled the Law and the Prophets for His forefathers and then fulfilled all the commands given Him by God to teach, a Son of Adam, a Son of Man who should never have been thrown out of Eden.

At that moment, Jesus Christ became the only righteous Man forsaken by God and crucified by men, fully God and fully Man, dying on the cross for a crime and sin He did not commit, a sin originated by Satan and committed by Adam, a sin that God would not forgive without the shedding of blood, blood that He had been shedding from the moment the first blow landed on His body. He had been making the peace with God as He waited in the silence of the darkness, with not a word of complaint, sitting as it was in silence in the darkness.

But now, at the ninth hour, He became a Person unlike any other amongst men or ‘gods’, for amongst the ‘gods’, there were those who had obeyed and had never been forsaken, and those who disobeyed and are now locked up in Hell [Tartarus] in gloomy dungeons [into chains of darkness],[15] the same darkness that had been laid on Him for three hours.

Except, He is God who obeyed God yet was forsaken by God; and as for man, not since Adam had there been a Man so complete in obedience that the only way for sin to enter Him was for Him to be made sin. For all men had sinned except Jesus Christ. So, as He entered that last hour on the cross, by His words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” He became Himself the firstfruit of the New Creation, Righteous God and Righteous Man, forsaken by God, truly a Person, who being fully God and fully Man, with a righteousness that exceeded even that of God, thus even the perfect righteousness of God had become perfected in His suffering.

Against Him, all words of Satan and his angels would carry no weight at all in their accusations. Against, Him, not even the judgment of God would carry any weight, for He exceeded the measure required when He righteously said these words of Man to God, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Now at that moment, He could, if He wanted, raise Himself even above the throne of God, for He now had a righteousness that exceeded that of the throne. Indeed, He became the Man who fulfilled Satan’s ambitions when Satan said in his heart, “I will ascend to Heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”[16] Indeed, Jesus became a self-made Man at that moment, a Man whose righteousness exceeded God’s, for He had been forsaken by God for obeying God perfectly. For a moment, Satan might have thought at least he had succeeded in destroying the Oneness of God, and so in fact destroyed God. However, as always, Satan underestimated God, and in horror, he watched God the Son become the New Man, and as a Man, fulfil the Law of the New Covenant that He had uttered Himself: “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”[17] And He continued to now fulfil not just that which is written about Him in the Law and the Prophets, but that which is written about Him, the Man, in the Psalms.

Knowing that He had been forsaken by God, He chose not to take up the power that was still His as God the Son, to come off that cross and ascend into Heaven to confront the Father, but continued to labour as the Man that He is, labouring until all was now completed.[18] And to show that He finished it, not as the Son of God but as the Son of Man, He said, “I am thirsty.”[19] And when His own kind gave Him only wine vinegar soaked in a sponge instead of water, He received it and said, “It is finished.”[20] Then, with a last effort… with a shout… He finished the extra mile and fulfilled David’s promise as a righteous Man forsaken by God, not as a sinful man delivered by God: “From You comes the theme of My praise in the great assembly; before those who fear You will I fulfil My vows,”[21] and with a shout He cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last.[22]

With that last breath, He tore apart forever the veil of flesh that separated the blood of God from the power of the air, and forever cleansed the air that gave the prince of this world the power through sin. For the first breath of God on this Earth went into the lungs of a man who became sinful, now the last breath of a forever righteous Man would negate forever the power of the prince of the air. In showing all creation the absolute completion of His work, the curtain in the temple separating the Holy Place from the Holies of Holies was torn, and men could see for themselves there was no Ark of the Covenant in the temple made by sinful men anymore.

Once and for all, in Him all sin was washed away. Indeed, for those who abide in Him, there would never be, could never be any accusation from Satan or men that could kill, or judgment from God that could destroy. In Him, all men and women would be kept safe from all accusations and judgment, and from that moment on, men only needed to abide in Him by faith, and they would become just like Him, a new creation. A new creation… one that had never existed before, not amongst the gods or men.

He started the work as Son of God and He finished it as Son of Man, going the way of all men, dying because of sin, yet because He was forsaken by God for obeying God, not even death had power over Him, the Man. To fulfil His vow, He did not take up the right that He had to take up His life again, but having committed His spirit to the Father, with forbearance on the Holy Spirit to vindicate Him, He sealed the Oneness of God forever so that even God forsaking God could not break the unity and peace of God. And just as He sealed it, He brought into that unbreakable unity and peace, a unity and peace that even God cannot and could not break, all those who are and will be in Him. So that those who abide in Him would also be sealed in a bond of peace and unity that no one, not even God can break.

He fulfilled to God and for God the words of Moses when Moses said to Israel, “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them; He will never leave you or forsake you.”[23] Yet on that cross, even Moses was proved a liar, for God did forsake Jesus Christ, fully God and fully righteous Man, on that roman cross so that through Jesus, God would raise up for us One who not only will not forsake us, but would not forsake God. Indeed, raising up for us a Saviour, superior to any other, so that when the writer of the Hebrew was to write his letter, Deuteronomy 31:6 did become: …because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[24] Jesus Christ, Son of Man and Son of God, though forsaken by men and God, has forsaken no one. In this is our confidence in Him when He said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[25] By faith in Him we live in the Man and the Man lives in us, the Man who did not forsake God even when God forsook Him.

Now – to aspire to be a man like Jesus Christ without ever considering the God He is, to befriend and to love Him and to behold Him the Man. Yet, unless one has the full power and trust of God that He does, as fully God-like, and then choose to be fully man, never will anyone understand what it is to be fully man, man in the fullness of the image of God. An image so dear to God that He would not destroy it with a flash of His anger as He will this present Earth and Heavens. An image so precious that He would stoop once more, not to fashion it, but to kill to cover it, shedding blood He did not have, blood that the Word made Flesh would have to atone for the injustice to all the lambs that were slain.

That is why to bring true justice to Jesus, those whom He gave His flesh and blood (His life) for, must do the things He had been doing and even the greater things so that He is proven to be at the right hand of God in submission to God who forsook Him. Us doing the greater things is the proof of the unbreakable peace and unity that Jesus Christ has wrought with His own hands and life.

And in the days to come, we will understand more of Him who is God who became Man, so that those who are men might become ‘gods’ like Him. To those who valued not their lives as men or women for the sake of their testimony of Him and His word, He is about to give the privilege of living as a god amongst men. The millennial reign of Christ that is hurtling towards us at more than 1000 kph, will see men and women who died for Him and His Gospel, return to reign with Him with the same power He has to fulfil His promise to all overcomers. For 1000 years, those who return and those who remain alive to see Him arrive, will live as gods among men, fulfilling the fantasy and the mythology of the fallen Greek gods in a way they could only dream of as they gnash their teeth in the darkness of Tartarus.

Doxology: As our brother has said, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.[26]

And indeed, He is the Amen, the Great Amen. He who alone knows the mind of God, He who is at the right hand of God to counsel Him, He who has given more to God than God can repay Him… Jesus Christ the Man.

So why do men not listen to Him? How foolish are those who use His Name and believe in Him not to listen to Him, for I tell you, if you would but be still and sit in silence in the darkness, the sounds made by Him from the cross that no words can express, will show you the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God Almighty Himself, who now holds the Unity of God and the Peace of God in Him by His word. If God trusts Him so, how foolish are men who will not trust in Him?

The Man of men, the God of gods, King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ as much Man as He is God.


 

[1] Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34

[2] Matthew 5:17

[3] Psalm 22:1

[4] Genesis 3:15

[5] Luke 23:34

[6] Luke 23:43

[7] Luke 6:27,35

[8] Matthew 27:44

[9] John 19:26

[10] Matthew 27:45

[11] Isaiah 5:30

[12] Isaiah 45:3

[13] John 9:4

[14] Isaiah 47:5

[15] 2 Peter 2:4

[16] Isaiah 14:13-14

[17] Matthew 5:41

[18] John 19:28

[19] John 19:28

[20] John 19:30

[21] Psalm 22:25

[22] Luke 23:46

[23] Deuteronomy 31:6

[24] Hebrews 13:5

[25] Matthew 28:20

[26] Romans 11:33-36

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