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Q. Did God Turn His Back On Jesus?

Answer

Dear Brother,

Thanks for your note and the spirit with which it was written. My understanding is that Jesus bore our punishment, which was due to our sin. Every unbeliever must bear the wrath of God for their sin, because they reject the payment Jesus has made. They are, as is often said, separated from God eternally. I believe you can rightly say that God turns His back on guilty sinners. When Jesus took our place, He bore the penalty that was due us. Thus, God turned His back on Jesus (in our place). That is what I understand is being said not only in Psalm 22:2, but as it is quoted by our Lord on the cross:

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” Matthew 27:46

If you can say that God rejected Christ, who became sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), we must also say that by means of the resurrection God showed His satisfaction with the sacrifice of Christ and thus His approval. God may have turned His back on Jesus on the cross, but His face (so to speak) is shining on Him in the resurrection and ever after.

I hope this is helpful,

Bob

Related Topics: Atonement, Character of God, Hamartiology (Sin)

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