Today is Good Friday. This is the day that Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross.
It’s also the day Jesus forgave everyone at once when he prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And it’s especially significant because it’s the day we celebrate the moment that the Father refused to turn away from his Son on the cross.
That’s right. On Good Friday we celebrate the fact that God did not hide His face from Jesus as he suffered crucifixion.
How do we know this is so? Because the scriptures are very specific. Let’s take a closer look.
On the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”
From this single sentence, many bible teachers and pastors have theorized that it was in this moment that the Father looked away from Jesus – because of all of our sins being laid upon Jesus – and it was in this moment that Jesus experienced separation from the Father for the only time in all of eternity.
As dramatic and poetically compelling that might be, the truth is simply this: The Bible nowhere supports this theory.
So, where does this idea come from?
Well, when Jesus says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in Matthew and Mark’s Gospels, some have extrapolated this into the elaborate story about the Father turning His face away from Jesus and the Trinity experiencing separation for the first time in Eternity.
However, this statement from Jesus was a quote from Psalm 22 which begins:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” [v.1]
This is a Messianic Psalm. In this Psalm we also read prophetic statements like:
“…they pierce my hands and my feet.” [v. 16]
“…They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” [v.18]
Jesus is quoting this Psalm because he hopes to point out how these exact words are being fulfilled in front of those standing there.
Note also what this same Psalm has to say about what God is doing:
“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” [v.24]
That’s right. According to this Messianic prophecy in Psalm 22, when Jesus was being crucified it was an opportunity for us to realize that God did not hide his face from him, but listened to his cry and his prayer.
So, as we remember Good Friday, let’s also remember that today is the day that God did NOT turn away from Jesus, and if God won’t turn away from His own son – even when all the sins of the world are laid upon him – then God won’t turn away from your sinfulness either.
God didn’t forsake Jesus. God won’t forsake you.
That’s a Good Friday.
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Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife have returned to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of their next adventure. They hope to start a new house church very soon.