Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that the Lord Jesus was on the cross for six hours, from nine o’clock in the morning until three o’clock in the afternoon. During the first three hours He was persecuted by man. But during the last three hours, He was judged by God as the Substitute for our sins. Mark 15:33 indicates that at the sixth hour, at noon, “darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why did You forsake Me?” (v. 34). In this message we need to pay particular attention to this verse.
As we consider the Lord’s crying out in verse 34, we need to ask an important question: Did God leave Christ? The Lord said that God forsook Him, and to forsake means to leave. Therefore, in some way God left Him.
The Lord Jesus said in John 5:43 that He came in the name of the Father: “I have come in the name of My Father.” Furthermore, the Father was always with Him: “And He who sent Me is with Me” (John 8:29). Shortly before He died the Lord again said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32). The Father was not only with the Lord Jesus, but was also in Him, and the Lord was in the Father: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:10a, 11a). Regarding His relationship with the Father, the Lord also said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). The Lord Jesus and the Father were always one. Furthermore, whenever someone saw the Lord, he saw the Father. This was the reason the Lord Jesus could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
From these verses we see that the Lord came in the name of the Father, that the Father was with Him, that He was in the Father and the Father in Him, that He and the Father are one, and that when anyone saw Him, he saw the Father. These verses prove that the Lord was never separated from God the Father. Nevertheless, at the ninth hour the Lord Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why did You forsake Me?” No doubt, this indicates that God left Him. But in what sense did God leave the Lord Jesus? How are we to understand this matter, inasmuch as it involves a major problem related to the Trinity?
Does God’s forsaking of Christ mean that the One who remained on the cross was merely a man and no longer had the divine nature? If this were the situation, then the Lord’s redeeming power would not be eternal, for there would not be the divine, eternal element in it. We must be very careful, therefore, in answering the question concerning what it meant for God to forsake the crucified Christ.
It is very difficult to explain God’s forsaking of the Lord Jesus. If we would understand this properly, we need a thorough consideration of what the Scriptures reveal concerning the Trinity.
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