Why I Will Still Sing About Christ Being Forsaken: A Response to ‘Neither Forsaken nor Estranged from God’

"If you have not yet seen Dr. Mark Snoeberger’s recent article about the death of God in the death of Christ, I encourage you to consider it. Snoeberger’s argument there helps to refine and safeguard the way we think and discuss the death of Christ so that we are consistent with the biblical teaching...Yet even after working through his argument, I am still comfortable with singing the kind of songs he highlights as potentially alarming." - Ben Edwards

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pvawter's picture

I remember having a conversation with my brother about this topic several years ago. If I remember correctly, it was precipitated by the language of a hymn, but I don't recall if it was one mentioned by Dr. Snoeberger. Interesting reading, for sure. 

Aaron Blumer's picture


Much depends on how we interpret Jesus' use of the Psalm He quoted from at that moment on the cross. The Psalm itself has a different message than we usually consider, but that context doesn't erase the fact that Jesus chose that particular phrase from it.

... and the language of poetry and song is the language of emotion and often far more figurative than ordinary prose. 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JD Miller's picture

We must remember that PS 22 was a song that was regularly sung by the Hebrew people.  Jews witnessing Christ's crucifixion would have been familiar with that song.  If we were to hear the first line of a popular song today that everyone knew- the sort of song that sticks in your head- then your mind would easily go to the rest of the words to that song.  If the events described in that song were actually happening to the person who quoted it, then you would really pay attention.  For example if a person were riding through the snow on a sleigh behind a team of horses and they said "Jingle Bells" you would know why.  Jesus words of "my God why have you forsaken me" made so much more sense after I studied PS 22.  In that Psalm, David as well felt forsaken by God, yet he understood that he could trust what God was doing.  That is the message of the song that Jesus quoted.