"Is Jesus saying 'I have been forsaken by God'? No. He's declaring, 'Psalm 22! Pay attention! This psalm... applies to me!'"

“Jesus is not saying that God has forsaken him. He’s declaring the opposite. He’s saying that God is with him, even in this time of seeming abandonment, and that God will vindicate him by raising him from the dead.” He’s Calling for Elijah Why We Still Mishear Jesus


[Wayne Wilson] Sam, Leon Morris, (not Wood), is rejecting the view that Jesus was mistaken. Some have proposed that Jesus felt abandoned but really wasn’t, so his feeling abandoned would be a mistake on his part. Morris is arguing that we should accept that Jesus was indeed forsaken by the Father as the sin-bearer.
I was not fully satisfied in how he gets to his conclusion—or I didn’t get how he was framing his view vis a vis the wrong view. Mea culpa.

Christ is not mistaken because He cannot be mistaken—about His Father or about Himself (His thoughts, emotions, etc.) Thanks Wayne.


Christ is both the sin offering and the burnt offering.
He was as truly forsaken as the scapegoat abandoned to the wilderness.
He was as truly received as the sweet savor of sacrifice to the nostrils of God.

What bothers me as I read Hsu’s article is not so much that he emphasizes God’s affirmation/vindication of Christ in his death as much as the concerns that seem to drive him. It seems as if he is more driven by cultural expectations than by biblical revelation.

And it seems as if in his desire to vindicate God of “divine child abuse” he actually ends up belittling the doctrine of penal substitution.

And there are the seeds of heterodoxy.

Since Hsu started out with a quote from Stott in The Cross of Christ, I will do the same in this brief reply. On page 199, Stott says, “Substitution is not a ‘theory of the atonement.’ … It is rather the essence … and the heart of the atonement.”

Most dispensationalists agree and teach that the essence of death is separation (and yes, I also believe that it includes inability, but that’s an entirely different discussion that certainly lies outside of the current focus). If the essence of death is separation, and the essence of the atonement is substitution, how could Christ have died our death in our place without experiencing the spiritual aspect of separation from the Father? Is this not what sin does to every member of the human race, starting with Adam and Eve in their fall in the Garden? How then could Christ die in our place as our substitute and avoid the same separation that all of us experience as a consequence of being dead in trespasses and sins (from Ephesians 2, a chapter which certainly attaches the concept of separation to the concept of spiritual death, using terms like “aliens” and “strangers” in the AV)?

I am not denying the trinity, and I am certainly not attempting to explain it. It has to be true in some altruistic sense that the Father and Son were not separated from one another. If fact, in an ultimate sense, even sinners burning in the lake of fire will not be separated from an omnipresent God. However, they will know God’s presence only in the sense of His judgment and wrath. Never, in all of eternity, will they be able to experience communion or fellowship with Him. They are forever separated from this aspect of His presence.

It was this kind of alienation from the Father that Jesus experienced on the cross. He fully drank the cup of His Father’s wrath, experiencing ALL that this means, including alienation from the fellowship of His Father as He bore our sin and suffered the consequences of it. To say that this is not true is to say that Jesus was less than our full substitute who died in our place.